From the archives: New Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez
Posted on July 23, 2015
Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox smiles during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on May 2, 1999. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
There are hall of famers, and there are HALL OF FAMERS. Former big league pitching legend Pedro Martinez, who made his mark pitching for the Boston Red Sox, will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday. The diminutive right-hander from the Dominican Republic passed the eye test when he played, eliciting excitement every time he took the mound. The electricity in the ballpark on days Pedro pitched was palpable, especially in big games. Pedro Martinez is a HALL OF FAMER who got in on the first ballot and will class up the Otesaga Hotel and everywhere else he goes in Cooperstown this weekend.
Whenever Pedro came to town with his Red Sox teammates it was like baseball royalty was showing up. This was never more evident than in 2004 when the Red Sox played the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park for the first time during interleague play in June for a three game weekend series. The tickets for these three contests were the hardest to get all season and prices were sky high. Everyone wanted to see the Red Sox, especially Pedro, who was scheduled to pitch game 2 of the series on Saturday afternoon. You bet I was there to shoot this big game!
Later that season Pedro helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series title in like a billion years over the St. Louis Cardinals and I was there to photograph this historic event, including his win in Game 3 at old Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
I missed Pedro’s early years in Los Angeles and Montreal, but I am thrilled that I had the chance to see him at his best when he twirled for Boston. The last time I photographed him was in May of last year when he took the mound at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown (see above) to pitch in the Hall of Fame Classic game. As usual Pedro was one of the rare guys who stole the spotlight that day, just like he will on Sunday. There is something very special about Pedro, and the way he dominated hitters during the steroid era. No other pitcher came close. Pedro Martinez, ladies and gentlemen, is a HALL OF FAMER.