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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/NESN/status/625413912259915776 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/bhakey/status/587966304151142400 align=’center’%5D
16. He’s a family man who admires his older brother, like so many of us growing up.
[tweet https://twitter.com/MolinaDiazJean/status/622054752046571520 align=’center’%5D
17. Because we smile when we see this “Sports Illustrated” cover.
Photo via LucidSportsFan.com
18. Or this video game cover.
[tweet https://twitter.com/MoneyMooks69/status/605165095082147840 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/CheicksMotor/status/619337738559561728 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/45pedromartinez/status/592770274988273668 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/F16Rodriguez/status/625397392683233284 align=’center’%5D
27. He can let it all out.
[tweet https://twitter.com/insomniacslounj/status/606995454623031296 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/si_mlb/status/624318846875250688 align=’center’%5D
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.
[tweet https://twitter.com/MLB/status/625370094319878144 align=’center’%5D
35. He has grace.
[tweet https://twitter.com/DonOrsillo/status/625324685627101185 align=’center’%5D
36. He bridges the gap between Boston and Montreal, an awesome city in its own right.
[tweet https://twitter.com/BostonGlobe/status/623931727413649408 align=’center’%5D
37. He was an incredible teammate.
[tweet https://twitter.com/davidortiz/status/625352708380336128 align=’center’%5D
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.”
[tweet https://twitter.com/fanly/status/625836895252127744 align=’center’%5D
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