BOSTON (CBS) — Shortly after Pedro Martinez is enshrined among the best to ever play the game of baseball, he’ll see his number take its place among the best to call Fenway Park home.
The Red Sox announced Monday that they will retire Martinez’s No. 45 as a tribute to his career in a Red Sox uniform and in honor of his upcoming induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place at Fenway Park before the Red Sox-White Sox game on Tuesday, July 28, just two days after the right-handed pitcher is enshrined in Cooperstown, NY.READ MORE: Mac Jones Signals For First Down -- Despite Being Three Yards Short
“To be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame upon his first year of eligibility speaks volumes regarding Pedro’s outstanding career, and is a testament to the respect and admiration so many in baseball have for him,” said Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry. “And baseball fans admire Pedro for more than his remarkable career accomplishments. His dynamic personality, love for the game, his fearlessness coupled with humility, his passionate, competitive spirit, and his ability to squeeze every ounce of talent out of a small frame were reasons so many fans connected with him. For me personally, he was one of the most incredible pitchers I’ve had the privilege of watching, and one of the reasons our ownership group arrived here in 2002. We very much look forward to honoring Pedro’s remarkable career this July.”
An instant fan favorite upon arriving in Boston in 1998, Martinez spent seven of his 18-year major league career with the Red Sox, going 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA. He owns the best winning percentage in team history at .760, ranking third in strikeouts (1,683) and sixth in wins. A three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, Martinez finished his career with a record of 219-100, a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827.1 innings.READ MORE: Seekonk Break-In Suspect Dead After Crash And Shootout With Police, DA Says
He was the unanimous winner of the American League’s Cy Young Award in back-to-back seasons in 1999 and 2000, and took home the AL pitching Triple Crown in 1999.
Martinez was the starter, winner and MVP of the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park, striking out the first four batters he faced — Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa — before Matt Williams reached on an error. Martinez then struck out Jeff Bagwell, and Williams was caught stealing to end the inning.MORE NEWS: Angry Mike Vrabel Spikes Red Challenge Flag After Officials Rule Titans Short Of Goal Line
Pedro’s No. 45 will be the ninth on the right field facade of Fenway Park, joining Bobby Doerr’s No. 1; Joe Cronin’s No. 4; Johnny Pesky’s No. 6; Carl Yastrzemski’s No. 8; Ted Williams’ No. 9; Jim Rice’s No. 14; Carlton Fisk’s No. 27; and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which is retired throughout Major League Baseball.