Deivi Garcia made waves on social media Wednesday for reasons beyond his seven-inning, two-run performance in the New York Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Garcia, one of the Yankees’ top prospects, was spotted wearing a belt featuring the No. 45 while making his third career start. This was interesting because 1) Garcia has worn No. 83 since being called up by New York, and 2) Yankees ace Gerrit Cole currently rocks No. 45 for the Bronx Bombers.
Turns out this wasn’t a wardrobe mishap, though.
Garcia, who hails from the Dominican Republic, revealed after Wednesday’s game the belt is his way of honoring Boston Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez, a hero in his native country.
“It’s actually that when we started spring training back in February, I asked for a belt. But I asked for a belt with the No. 45 and that’s in honor of Pedro Martinez,” Garcia said through a translator, per NJ.com. “It’s just a number that I carry around. I have it in my glove, in some of my gloves. That’s really the reason why.”
Garcia, now 21, was born in 1999. So, it’s not like he can recall Martinez’s peak days with Boston.
But Martinez’s baseball influence continues to be felt in the D.R. and across Major League Baseball, especially with the former hurler so quick to pass on knowledge to the next generation.