What has been evident for months will soon be official: Pedro Martinez is retiring from baseball.
Certainly, this is not a surprising development. Pedro last pitched in the 2009 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies, and very well, might I add, and sat out the 2010 and ’11 campaigns.
In the meantime, he’s enjoyed himself in his native Dominican Republic, spending time with his family away from the game:
“It was after I didn’t play for one year and I was able to garden again with my mom and be with my boys and go to baseball games,” Martinez said. “I got attached, I got attached to that kind of life. Being at home, being able to sit on my boat and not worry about tomorrow. It was really what made me lean towards not coming back.”
As I have written extensively before, Pedro Martinez was the most exciting baseball player I’ve ever seen. Truly, he was an artist on the mound, and had the added grace and wisdom to adjust to life as a dealer after arm troubles robbed him of his devastating fastball later in his career. He might not have been the best pitcher in the league at that point, but he was still a thrill to watch.
The honors will come soon enough. Before long, he’ll have a bronze plaque in Cooperstown, his no. 45 will hang on Fenway Park’s right field facade and his career highlights will live on in documentaries, books and memories.
And there is no shortage of amazing memories.