How do we love Pedro? Let us count the ways.
Pedro Martinez gave Boston Red Sox fans about 45 million reasons — give or take a few — to love him throughout his Hall of Fame career. From his on-field performance to his off-the-field personality, Martinez was a dynamic player, in every sense.
As such, the Red Sox have no problem retiring Martinez’s No. 45 and hanging it on the right-field facade at Fenway Park, alongside some of the franchise’s all-time greats. There might never be another Pedro, in terms of both talent and flair, so we all should embrace his greatness, especially his dominance with the Red Sox from 1998 through 2004.
Since no one has the time or energy — except maybe Pedro — to run down 45 million reasons why Red Sox fans always will love the guy, let’s whittle the list to 45. Here’s to you, Pedro. The GOAT.
1. It was a main event atmosphere every time he took the mound.
Photo via Flickr/firebrandal
2. Sometimes, he won’t shut up. Yet we hang on his every word.
3. He can rock a Jheri curl. And look cool doing it.
(@NESN) July 26, 2015
4. He respects his elders.
5. Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette said upon acquiring Pedro from the Montreal Expos that Boston was “back in business.” Boy, was he right? Pedro immediately restored faith in the organization.
6. His Dominican roots and pride helped create a melting pot around Fenway Park. He truly brought people of different backgrounds together.
7. Wonderful, a presence of the dugout he was. (That’s Yoda talk, for all you scoring at home.)
8. He hates Jorge Posada. And what Red Sox fan doesn’t hate Jorge Posada?
9. From a mango tree in the D.R. to Yankee Stadium, he has a deep appreciation for everything he accomplished. He wants to be considered a “sign of hope.” Wish granted.
10. His fastball.
GIF via Baseball Prospectus
11. His curveball.GIF via For The Win
12. His changeup. Oh, that changeup.
GIF via MLB.com
13. 2004. Anyone who played on that team gets a free pass, obviously. Pedro is no different.
14. He can be mean.
GIF via For The Win
15. Yet he also can be patient.
Pedro must still hate Yankee stadium. vine.co/v/eBlAwi1Md0g—
Brian Hakey (@bhakey) April 14, 2015
16. He’s a family man who admires his older brother, like so many of us growing up.
★ Jean C Molina ★ (@MolinaDiazJean) July 17, 2015
17. Because we smile when we see this “Sports Illustrated” cover.
Photo via LucidSportsFan.com
18. Or this video game cover.
simply Mooks (@MoneyMooks69) June 01, 2015
19. He thought he was bigger than everyone else on the field, once saying he felt like he was 10 feet tall on the mound. Off the field? He shows love for the little people, both literally and figuratively.
CHEICK DIALLOS MOTOR (@CheicksMotor) July 10, 2015
20. He never backs down.
21. He’ll even come after you.
22. He’s eager to listen and improve — a model for those stuck in their ways.
I was a patch of different pitchers because I learned by watching and studying them. I wasn't born knowing. I was a student of the game—
Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 27, 2015
23. He has some serious cojones. Who else would drill both Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter to open a 2003 game and send a message the Sox aren’t backing down in enemy territory?
24. He didn’t plunk Tom Brady during Opening Day batting practice. (New England needs that guy.)
25. He can dance.
26. He can shout.
HOLA, Pedro. vine.co/v/egUdTMpWitK—
Fausto Rodriguez (@F16Rodriguez) July 26, 2015
27. He can let it all out.
Mental image of Pedro Martinez waving his penis in front of a newly hired Grady Little. Happy Friday, ya'll! http://t.co/x8f2aXDavw—
Derek C (@insomniacslounj) June 06, 2015
28. He wanted to, uh, make love to Sandra Bullock. And hey, she’s still hot.
29. He can be a softie, evident by the crying he claims in his memoir to have done throughout his career.
30. Yet he can brush away those tears and be as strong as an ox, mentally and physically, when the situation calls for it.
SI MLB (@si_mlb) July 23, 2015
31. He can ruffle feathers.
Photo via BDCwire.com
32. Or give credit where it’s due.
33. He’s one of the few people who can threaten to throw a baseball at a dead guy and still come off as awesome. (Pedro and Babe have since buried the hatchet, of course.)
34. He has style.
(@MLB) July 26, 2015
35. He has grace.
Don Orsillo (@DonOrsillo) July 26, 2015
36. He bridges the gap between Boston and Montreal, an awesome city in its own right.
The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 22, 2015
37. He was an incredible teammate.
David Ortiz (@davidortiz) July 26, 2015
38. He’s honest.
39. He can improvise.
A passage from a July 23, 2015 article by The New York Times’ Juliet Macur
40. He embraced “Manny being Manny.”
41. And “Papi being Papi.”
Fanly (@fanly) July 28, 2015
42. He can put mind over matter.
43. He can shine even among the brightest stars.
44. He’s the greatest pitcher of the modern era.
45. He’s Pedro Martinez. And there’s no one quite like him.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BostonGlobe