Saturday, June 21, 2014

Remembering Yankees of The Past: Tino Martinez

Tino Martinez came to the New York Yankees in 1996 via trade from the
Seattle Mariners along with Jeff Nelson and Jim Mecir for Sterling Hitchcock
and Russ Davis. Martinez had the role that nobody ever wanted, replacing the
great, and now retired, Don Mattingly at first base for New York and filled
in admirably. Martinez won World Series championships with New York in 1996,
1998, 1999, and 2000 and was a key component in the title runs. 

Martinez hit a grand slam in Game 1 of the 1998 World Series against the San
Diego Padres off Mark Langston giving the Yankees a four run lead that they
never gave back. The Yankees had tied the game earlier in the inning when
teammate Chuck Knoblauch hit a three run home run. The Yankees would go on
to sweep the series and take the title home to the Bronx. The second came on
October, 31 2001 with two outs in the 9th inning with the Yankees trailing
by two runs and hit the game tying home run off Arizona Diamondbacks closer
Byung-Hyun Kim. The feat was repeated the next night by Scott Brosius and we
all remember the Derek Jeter "Mr. November" home run but the Yankees would
lose Games 6 and 7 and lose the series. 

As a side note Martinez also won the State Farm Home Run Derby in 1997 for
the Yankees. Martinez also led the American League in home runs (44) and
RBI's (141) that season and finished second in the American League Most
Valuable Player Award voting. Martinez being hit by Baltimore Orioles
pitcher Armando Benitez resulted in the brawl between the two clubs in 1998
that we all remember so well. Martinez was a great ball player and a great
Yankee and we honor him here today the way the New York Yankees will honor
him in the Bronx tonight.

Congrats Tino!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)