Tuesday, June 4, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #29 RAMON MARTINEZ


LOTS OF POWER IN THAT LITHE FRAME.




MARTINEZ 1.0 WAS PRETTY DAMN GOOD.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • One-time Dodgers ace Ramon Martinez was the second-best pitcher in his family, but when your younger brother is soon-to-be Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, you can't argue with the pecking order. Big brother still had a fine 14-year career. He won 135 games, was runner-up in the NL Cy Young voting in 1990 and pitched a no-hitter in '95.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On July 14, 1995, Martinez no-hit the Marlins at Dodger Stadium, and fittingly it came out of the blue. In his previous home start against the Rockies, the right-hander allowed 10 runs and was booed off the mound. He won back the crowd by first tossing 7.2 perfect innings before walking Tommy Gregg. He finished the 7-0 gem with eight strikeouts.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '90, Martinez staked his claim as one of the best pitchers in the game by going 20-6 with a 2.92 ERA and 223 strikeouts. He led the majors with 12 complete games and was an All-Star for the first and only time in his career. He finished runner-up to #127 Doug Drabek of the Pirates for NL Cy Young.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Struck out 18 Braves on June 4, 1990, in a 6-0 complete-game three-hitter.
  2. When Martinez made his debut with the Dodgers in '88, he was the youngest player in the league at age 20.
  3. Ramon and Pedro pitched together in '93 with the Dodgers and in '99 with the Red Sox.
  4. Suffered a torn rotator cuff in '98 and never pitched for the Dodgers again.
  5. The Martinez brothers are fifth all-time in combine victories with 354.

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