February 9, 2012 by Matt Musico
Even though he hadn’t pitched in a Major League game since he was with the Phillies in 2009, Pedro Martinez officially announced his retirement from baseball this past December. Everyone knew that he wouldn’t play professionally again, but I couldn’t help but be sad once the news hit all of the media outlets; being able to watch Pedro pitch for the Mets from 2005-2008 was very amusing- when he wasn’t hurt at least. It seemed as if every time he took the mound, it was an event at Shea, and that’s how it was throughout his 18-year career with five different teams (Phillies, Mets, Red Sox, Expos, and Dodgers).
I read an article on MLB.com this week talking about Pedro’s plans now that he has officially stepped away from the game. His foundation, which is called The Pedro Martinez and Brothers Foundation, has been around since 1998 and the former ace and his wife have big plans to continue to help kids achieve their dreams in his home country of the Dominican Republic. Some of his plans include building another charter school in Santo Domingo, along with baseball fields and other facilities that will help give kids today the opportunity that he never had; the chance to receive an education. Him and his wife started a program in 2009 in conjunction with Major League Baseball entitled, “There is Power in Learning.”
During his interview this week, Martinez also spoke about his chances of getting inducted into Cooperstown one day in the future. He even mentioned that he would like to be voted in on the first ballot. I mean, who are we kidding; I’m sure every professional ballplayer wants that, but Pedro has a good case to get just that. Here are some of his career statistics:
219-100 record, .687 winning percentage, 2.93 ERA, 2827.1 innings pitched, 3154 strikeouts
In addition to those statistics, Martinez posted double-digit wins in a season 12 times (two 20-win seasons), led the league in ERA five times, led the league in WHIP five times (fifth best WHIP in history), was named to eight All-Star teams, and won three Cy Young Awards. He is also 13th on the career strikeouts list (3,154) and has the third highest strikeout per nine innings pitched in history (10.04). There was a time in Pedro’s career when he was the main man in Major League Baseball; every pitcher looked up to him and he was on top of the Baseball World from 1997-2000. His .687 winning percentage is second among pitchers who have pitched in 300 games in a career.
So, you tell me…is there any way that Pedro shouldn’t be inducted to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot? If he isn’t when he becomes eligible, then there is something seriously wrong with the BBWAA.