Pedro Martinez struck out five batters in two innings at the 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He electrified the hometown crowd at Fenway Park and earned MVP honors for his dominant pitching performance.
But that’s not what the former Red Sox ace found most special about that memorable night in Boston, as he already knew he was capable of shutting down baseball’s biggest stars. Instead, Martinez came away with an appreciation for being able to interact with the MLB legends in attendance.
“Watching the All-Century Team to me was great. I remember Hank Aaron coming over and wanting to shake my hand, and to me, that was like, ‘Oh my God. This is it,’ “Martinez said Monday on “The Rich Eisen Show” while looking back on the ’99 Midsummer Classic. “But it got even better. Because after the game — the game, I knew what I could do; I was facing those guys during that era — but what I was able to do (after the game) and have Ted Williams bring me over to his suite where he was.
“Actually, there’s a little video — I don’t know where it is; the Red Sox have it — where (Williams) says, ‘You’re one hell of a pitcher.’ And he shook my hand and he signed the program. That was pretty much my trophy. That capped it off.”
Being called a “hell of a pitcher” by the greatest hitter to ever live? Yeah, that’s pretty special.