Edgar Martinez on jersey retirement: ‘It’s just a great honor and gives you satisfaction’

Edgar Martinez is almost done writing his speech for Saturday’s jersey retirement ceremony, and he said the honor made him reflective about his career.

Edgar Martinez is almost done writing his speech, which he’ll give Saturday when the Mariners retire his No. 11 jersey, but he’s not sure what to expect, or what that moment will feel like.

Mariners manager Scott Servais joked that “Edgar never shows much excitement,” but in talking about his jersey retirement before Thursday’s game, Martinez did get a little whimsical.

“You play the game and you don’t think about anything like this through so many years playing the game and one day you retire and get this type of award and recognition,” he said. “It’s just a great honor and gives you satisfaction. It makes you think about the work you’ve done. A lot of work goes into playing baseball. It’s not only playing the game. There are a lot of sacrifices. Baseball can also be tough with families; you’re away the whole time. It makes you reflect and the hard work paid off.”

He also said, “I think it will make me reflect on my career, reflect way back when I first started playing and just look into the past. It makes you reflect on the people that have been involved in my life that helped me and in some cases guide me and teach me. In those terms, it means a lot.”

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It means a lot to Servais, too, who recently told Martinez, the Mariners’ hitting coach, “I’m glad I’m here and get to see it.”

Martinez’s career is remembered in Seattle for its longevity (18 years, all with the Mariners) and for his ridiculous production (a career .312 average and .933 on-base-plus-slugging percentage).

Among some of the best pitchers of the last 20 years, Martinez’s name gets mentioned as one of the toughest hitters to face, a claim made by Mariano Rivera (“I think every pitcher will say that”), Pedro Martinez (“Edgar was a guy that had the ability to foul off pitches, and it pissed me off because I couldn’t get the guy out”) and Randy Johnson (“Edgar Martinez is, hands down, the best hitter that I’ve ever seen”).

So who were the toughest pitchers Martinez faced? Martinez listed:

  • Pedro Martinez
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Roger Clemens
  • And, finally, “Anybody who threw a knuckleball, I…

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