When the Fenway Faithful take their seats in America’s Most Beloved Ballpark this summer, the sights and sounds of one of the most iconic venues in sports may overwhelm them. From the Green Monster in left field to the famous lone red seat in right field, where Ted Williams hit the longest home run in the history of Fenway, to the Pesky Pole and more, fans attending the park will have a new feature for all to enjoy. This feature is not just a simple upgrade to seating or anything like that because it represents so much more. If you ever get the pleasure of heading to a Red Sox game after July 28th of this year, then direct your attention to the row of red numbers high above the playing field in right field and just below the Budweiser Roof Deck (I had the delight of sitting up there for a game in early June thanks to my good pals, the Corsi’s). A new number will don the list of legends and that number is 45.
Yes, the number 45 of Pedro Martinez will join the list of retired numbers by the Boston Red Sox on July 28th, 2015. Pedro is one of those guys that Boston fans love and their opponents (especially the Yankees) love to hate. Not only was Pedro quite possibly the most dominant pitcher of all time, but he also had one of the most animated personalities of all time as well. Night in and night out, Pedro made it clear what his goal was, to completely shut down his opposition. Pedro did not just want to beat his competition, he wanted to humiliate them and that is exactly what he did. Martinez’s confidence was through the roof and it showed because he was never afraid to stand up to anyone. Who in their right mind would call the all- mighty New York Yankees their “daddy” while wearing a Red Sox uniform. Only one man can say they have and that man is Pedro Martinez.
I take pride in the fact that I was able to see arguably the greatest Red Sox pitcher of all time. From his Immaculate Inning, to the 1999 All Star Game, to throwing Don Zimmer to the ground in the 2003 ALCS, to bringing the World Series back to Boston in 2004, Pedro achieved what no other player could even imagine. He was recently voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and when his number is officially retired by the Boston Red Sox, he will be remembered as the best pitcher Boston has ever seen. Thanks for the memories Pedro and especially thanks for giving us Boston fans your best game.
“Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him” –Pedro Martinez