Pedro Martinez Story
One of the classic cases of a rags to riches story in the baseball world is that of Pedro Martinez. Born in the Dominican Republic town of Manoguayabo, Martinez went on to become one of the most prolific pitchers to ever play in the MLB. He holds some of the best records in the league and is regarded as one of the legends of the sport.
Born into an impoverished family, he used to practice with an orange before being spotted by a scout at a Los Angeles Dodgers training camp. From there, he went on to sign for them on an amateur fee in 1988.
After moving to the Dodgers and moving up through their farm system, Pedro Martinez made his debut against the Cincinnati Reds in 1992. His brother, Ramon was also a pitcher in the team and also claimed that Pedro was a better pitcher than him.
The Dodgers traded Martinez to the Montreal Expos after the 1993 season and it was here that he grew into one of the best pitchers in the game.
After moving to the Expos, Martinez went on to pitch near-perfectly in many games including a memorable 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres. During the 1997 season, he won the National League Cy Young award, the only Expo to have ever won that honour. He was also the first pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts with an ERA of under 2.00.
Boston Red Sox
Martinez moved on to the Boston Red Sox on a six-year deal that was worth $75 million in 1997. The deal made him the highest paid pitcher in the league. He went on to perform remarkably for the Red Sox and won numerous awards during his time.
He had seven successful years with the Red Sox and finished with a record of 117-37, the highest ever win percentage for any pitcher in the history of the game, most of which he had won on his own.
Mets and retirement
Martinez moved to the New York Mets before he finally retired from the game after finishing off with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. He was selected in the MLB Team of the decade and was also featured in an oil painting by the Smithsonian’s National Art Gallery.
Martinez has said many times that he does not take his sport for granted owing to the tough childhood that he was bought up in. He is involved in many charitable causes for his home country.