It is not every day that sports fans see players get honored for all the hard work and great moments they put together in a career. The New York Yankees added another name to the famous Monument Park today. Welcome to the land of Yankees legends, Tino Martinez.
With names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Mariano Rivera all honored in Monument Park, Martinez can now say he is honored among some of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball.
Martinez was the starting first baseman for the Yankees’ late 90’s dynasty that won four World Series championships in five years, including three in a row from 1998-2000. He had no easy role when he was traded from the Seattle Mariners following the 1995 season — he had to fill the shoes of Yankees legend Don Mattingly. With the pressure on him, he kept fans entertained for having some power from the left-handed batters box and the short porch in Yankee Stadium.
In 1998, Martinez was struggling with the bat in the playoffs, and in Game 1 of the World Series, he turned things around quickly. He would hit a game-winning grand slam and gave life to the city that beforehand was very quiet.
His most memorable moment with the bat would have to come in the 2001 World Series. After the Sept. 11 attacks, much of the nation was looking to see what the home team New York Yankees could do. In Game 4, with the Yankees down 3-1, Martinez hit a game-tying two run home run. Teammate Derek Jeter would then go on to hit a walk-off home run and be nicknamed Mr. November.
What Martinez brought to the Yankees was veteran leadership he had gotten while playing for the Mariners and a player that blended in with everybody. He gave 100 percent of his ability in every game, something fans grew accustomed to seeing from the Yankees in the late 90’s. Today, Martinez being honored in Monument Park should be no surprise. It is good to see him get recognized for everything he did for the franchise and forever be remembered as a Yankee.