Sport Edgar Martinez number retirement: Mariners celebrate storied career

04:55  13 august  2017
04:55  13 august  2017 Source:   sportingnews.com

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August 12, 2017 10:54pm EDT August 12, 2017 9:30pm EDT The Seattle Mariners retired the number of their former all-star catcher Edgar Martinez . A career of #Exce11ence . Edgar Martinez : By the Numbers . pic.twitter.com/9inpxIoA3U.

August 12, 2017 10:54pm EDT August 12, 2017 9:30pm EDT The Seattle Mariners retired the number of their former all-star catcher Edgar Martinez . A career of #Exce11ence. Edgar Martinez : By the Numbers . pic.twitter.com/9inpxIoA3U.

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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The Mariners will put on a special Edgar Martinez weekend from Aug. 11-13, with a number retirement ceremony to take place Saturday, Aug. Martinez : "The greatest fans in baseball, the Mariners fans, gave me the motivation and help me have the drive for my whole career ."

Mariners To Retire Martinez 's No. 11. Edgar Martinez will join Ken Griffey Jr. as the The Mariners have strict guidelines for number retirement that allow for the honor only if a player has been He is regarded as one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation, finishing his career with a .312

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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