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
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
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
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
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