Pedro Martinez' number joins other Sox greats on facade – Boston Globe
Comments PrintJim Davis/Globe Staff
Pedro Martinez threw out the first pitch Tuesday with fellow Red Sox Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, and Carl Yastrzemski — and his newly retired No. 45 — behind him.
His brother Ramon wore No. 48 with the Dodgers, so Pedro Martinez asked for No. 47 when Los Angeles called him up to the majors for the first time in 1992. That number was taken, but No. 45 was available.
Close enough. Once Martinez learned that Hall of Famer Bob Gibson wore 45 with the Cardinals, he was hooked.
“Mad men on the mound, the men of low ERAs,” Martinez said. “I was pretty much the same way and we were wearing the same number.”
Now 45 will never be forgotten at Fenway Park. The Red Sox retired Martinez’s number on Tuesday during a ceremony befitting the new Hall of Famer.
Two days after he was inducted in Cooperstown, Martinez again heard his name chanted by the fans of Boston. As he loves to do, Martinez reveled in the moment.
Photos: Red Sox retire No. 45
Martinez became the first Red Sox pitcher to have his number placed on the right field facade.
“You will be linked to my heart. You will be linked to my life, forever,” Martinez told the cheering crowd.
That Martinez was the first Red Sox pitcher to have his number retired humbled a man who has no lack of confidence.
“It’s a unique opportunity to feel this, and I don’t know how to describe it,” Martinez said. “I get confused in the middle of trying to explain why. Why me? How?”
Jason Varitek was the last of a long list of luminaries introduced. He emerged from the dugout with his catcher’s mitt.
“I need you here with me,” Martinez told his favorite catcher. “This is my parade.”
Varitek caught the ceremonial first pitch from Martinez and the two hugged. Fittingly the pitch was high and inside. Pedro still owns the plate.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, president Larry Lucchino, and general manager Ben Cherington represented the team during the ceremony.
Henry said a few months ago that one of the reasons his group purchased the team before the 2002 season was the presence of Martinez.
Martinez’s wife, Carolina, was …Read More