Sport Edgar Martinez number retirement: Mariners celebrate storied career

04:55  13 august  2017
04:55  13 august  2017 Source:   Sporting News

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Mariners To Retire Martinez 's No. 11. Edgar Martinez will join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only Mariners players with retired numbers . The Mariners also hope -- however ceremonial -- that the number retirement may boost Martinez 's That's something I never could expect looking back at my career ."

Edgar Martínez (born January 2, 1963), nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi", is a former Major League Baseball designated hitter and third baseman and current hitting coach of the Seattle Mariners . He spent his entire 18-year Major League Baseball career with the Mariners .

Edgar Martinez © (GETTY IMAGES) Edgar Martinez

The Seattle Mariners are attempting to end a 16-year playoff drought, and currently half a game behind the Minnesota Twins for the second wild-card spot in the American League.

When Seattle was last in the postseason, it was led by one of the franchise's all-time great players, Edgar Martinez, and before the Mariners took on the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday they honored the former all-star by retiring his No. 11 in a ceremony celebrating his career.

"Baseball; what a wonderful game," he said in a speech during the ceremony. "Because of baseball, I met my wife, I have a wonderful family, I have all these awards, the street, number retired. ... When I thought baseball gave me everything it has, it gives me more."

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Safeco Field will once again be the site of something special this summer when the Mariners retire Edgar Martínez ’s number . Like 24, the only time you will see 11 again at Safeco Field is on the backs of fans—and, of course, standing in the Mariners dugout.

Edgar made his Major League debut on Sept. 12, 1987 and played his entire 18-year MLB career with the Mariners . 01.24.17 Edgar Martinez #11 Retirement Tuesday, January 24, 2017 MARINERS TO RETIRE EDGAR MARTINEZ 'S NUMBER 11 ON AUGUST 12; MARTINEZ IS SECOND PLAYER

Martinez was joined by many of his former teammates, and his family, some of whom traveled from his native Puerto Rico.

"He was a grinder who was determined to be a great hitter," said Rick Rizzs, introducing Martinez to the Safeco Field crowd.

Martinez is the franchise-leader in countless statistics, and received 58.6% of the Hall of Fame vote in 2017, falling short of the required of the 75% to be elected, but seeing a major jump from the 43.4% he tallied the year prior. His number became the second to be retired in Seattle, next to Ken Griffey Jr.

"In the 10 years I was here there was no better right-handed hitter in all of baseball," said Lou Piniella, former Mariners manager, in a taped video message.

Martinez currently serves as the Mariners' hitting coach, and had a message for his players in the thick of the stretch-run, hopeful of ending that playoff drought.

"Let's take the challenge," he said. "We have a month-and-a-half to go. We know it's a challenge like any competition, but let's look at it in a positive way. Let's look at it as a way of competition. Let's compete one pitch at a time."

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