Pedro Martinez always has appreciated the history of Major League Baseball, so it’s a big deal the Boston Red Sox are retiring his number.
Martinez, who is set to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame next Sunday in Cooperstown, will watch July 28 as the Red Sox unveil his No. 45 on the right field facade at Fenway Park. It’s an honor reserved for the organization’s all-time greats — a category Martinez undoubtedly falls under — and the former pitcher can’t help but have a deep appreciation for such a meaningful gesture.
“You know what, as excited as I am about the Hall of Fame, I’m equally excited about having my number retired,” Martinez recently told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “I think it’s a great honor. I don’t have enough words to thank the Red Sox for giving me the consideration of retiring my number.”
Martinez’s No. 45 will become the ninth number retired by the Red Sox, joining No. 1 (Bobby Doerr), No. 4 (Joe Cronin), No. 6 (Johnny Pesky), No. 8 (Carl Yastrzemski), No. 9 (Ted Williams), No. 14 (Jim Rice), No. 27 (Carlton Fisk) and No. 42 (Jackie Robinson).
Martinez, who last played for the Red Sox in 2004, a season in which Boston won the World Series, earned 117 victories in his seven seasons with the club. He won back-to-back Cy Young awards in 1999 and 2000. Many millennials surely consider Martinez to be the greatest pitcher of their generation. The July 28 number retirement ceremony at Fenway should be special, especially for the man of the hour.
“To actually have a number retired in one of the teams in the big leagues, your number retired forever, so your number is going to be there on an everyday basis and on a yearly basis, it’s a great honor,” Martinez told Browne. “I’m extremely humbled and extremely proud to have my number retired.”
The honor isn’t just special, Pedro. It’s also well-deserved.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images