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Newz Forum: BASEBALL: Martinez to retire after 18 seasons with Mariners

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posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 04:51 PM
SEATTLE (AP) - Two-time AL batting champion Edgar Martinez announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the season, ending his career with the Seattle Mariners as one of baseball's greatest designated hitters.

Martinez, 41, was a seven-time All-Star. He batted over .300 in 10 seasons, and led the league in hitting in 1992 and 1995.

This year, Martinez is batting .258 with eight home runs and 46 RBI.

"I have decided that this will be my last season," Martinez said. "I am very fortunate and grateful that I have been able to play my entire career with the Seattle Mariners. The fans here have always been and continue to be great."

Martinez made his major league debut with the Mariners in 1987 and played almost exclusively at third base until becoming a full-time DH in 1995. He helped lead Seattle to the AL championship series three times, but never reached the World Series.

The Mariners are stuck in last place in the AL West this year at 41-70. They were off Monday.

"This is a difficult moment for me, but it's also an exciting moment. I'm looking forward to the future and a new chapter in my life," he said.

posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:50 PM
this is a sad day for baseball fans in general and mariner fans in particular, it will be strange to go to safeco field and not see edgar in a mariner uniform, he has spent his entire 18 year major league career with the mariners and has a 312 lifetime batting average, the team is having an edgar martinez day on oct 2, i bet there will not be a dry eye in the house


posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:52 PM
That is pretty rare nowadays for a player in a sport to play out his career for just one team.

posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 06:22 PM
edgar is also a tremendous asset to the seattle community, he is the team spokesman for the Childrens Miracle Network which runs childrens hospitals, and will see and treat kids whose families cannot pay for the medical attention that they need

Edgar Martinez announces retirement at end of season

By Bob Condotta and Bob Finnigan
Seattle Times staff reporters

Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who has accounted for some of the greatest moments in club history during a career that began in 1987, announced this afternoon that he will retire at the end of the season.
Martinez, his voice choked with emotion, announced the retirement at a news conference at Safeco Field. He thanked the Mariners and his family, especially his wife Holli.

Martinez said he reached the decision to retire in recent days.

"It's something I've been thinking of for some time, I thought it was appropriate to do now," he said.

Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said he hoped Martinez would stay with the Mariners' organization after he was done playing, but Martinez said he couldn't answer what his future would be at the end of the season.

Martinez said his greatest moment was the American League Division Series victory over the New York Yankees in 1995.

Martinez said he never could have imagined the Mariners' difficult season this year.

"We've had some great runs, for many years in a row," he said. "I never thought this would happen, never saw it coming. It's been hard, but it's been tough on everyone in that clubhouse."

Martinez said he was looking forward to the last two months of the season.

"I'll enjoy my teammates, the coaches, enjoy the moment more, now that I know it's going tobe the last (season)," he said.

The Mariners will hold an Edgar Martinez day Oct. 2 when they play Texas Rangers at Safeco Field.

Martinez, 41, holds club records for games, hits and runs scored.

He is suffering through one of his worst seasons as a Mariner, hitting .258 with eight home runs and 46 runs batted in.

Martinez could land in the Hall of Fame. He has 2,205 hits and a career average of .312, second in Mariners history behind only Ichiro, along with 305 home runs and 1,244 runs batted in. He is the M's club leader in hits, walks, doubles, runs, RBI and games played

And while former first baseman Alvin Davis has often been called Mr. Mariner, Martinez will end his career living up to that billing more than any other player.

He was signed by the team as a free agent on Dec. 19, 1982 and never played for any other club. After making the major-league team for good in 1990, he was a regular in the lineup, first as a third baseman and later as a designated hitter.

What might have been his best season came in 1995, the year that saved baseball in Seattle. Martinez led the American League with a .356 average, the highest by a right-handed hitter in the AL since Joe DiMaggio's .381 in 1939, and finished third in the voting for AL most valuable player behind Mo Vaughn and Albert Belle.

Martinez started every game of that season as the Mariners rallied from 12½ games back on Aug. 15 to catch the California Angels and win the American League West.

If the Mariners had not won the division that year, the team might have moved out of town. Shortly after the season, the state Legislature agreed on a tax package to fund Safeco Field, largely because of public pressure brought on by the success of the team that fall.

But more than the numbers, what made Mariners fans love Martinez were the moments.

He capped that 1995 season with one of the most incredible postseason runs in baseball history.

With the Mariners trailing the Yankees 2-1 in the five-game American League Division Series, Martinez led the M's to a victory in Game 4 with a grand slam and a three-run homer, becoming the first player in history to drive in seven runs in a postseason game.

Then, in the do-or-die Game 5, he smashed what might be the most famous hit in team history. Martinez came to the plate with runners on first and third and the Mariners trailing 5-4 in the 11th inning and laced a double down the left-field line that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. for the tying and winning runs.

Martinez first burst onto the national scene in 1992 when he won the AL batting title with a .343 average. After two injury-plagued seasons in 1993 and 1994, he came back with the ferocious 1995 season and has been regarded as one of the best hitters in the game since.

He hit better than .300 every year from 1995 to 2001. In 2000, he put together what some regard as one of the best seasons ever for a 37-year-old, hitting .324 with a career-high 37 home runs and 145 RBI.

But age began to take its toll the last few years and he hit .294 with 24 homers and 98 RBI last season, tailing off noticeably after the All-Star break.

After briefly considering retiring after last season, he agreed to play one more season, signing a one-year contract for $3 million.

But with the team struggling to its worst record in years, management began to turn to younger players, and Martinez had begun to lose playing time in recent days to Tacoma call-up Bucky Jacobsen.

This year, on May 7 against the New York Yankees, he hit a two-run homer and a two-run double - the 500th double of his career - to lead the M's to a 6-2 win.

But Martinez had just one home run and four extra-base hits in 63 at-bats in July and has just 16 at-bats in eight games so far this month.

Martinez was born in New York but long ago relocated to the Seattle area, where he is likely to continue living

posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 08:55 PM
Definitely one of the good guys in the game.

Too bad to hear he's retiring, it sure is rare to see a player these days play his entire career with one team, let alone 18 seasons. That's loyalty. I'm sure he'll get a job with the Mariners doing something.

posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 10:52 PM
Does 2 batting titles and 7 all-star appearances get him to Cooperstown?


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