Seattle Mariners President & Chief Operating Officer Kevin Mather, on behalf of the Mariners organization and ownership group, today announced that the Mariners will officially retire Edgar Martinez's number 11 in a pregame ceremony on Saturday, August 12. Martinez joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players in franchise history to have their number retired. In addition, Jackie Robinson's no. 42 has been retired by Seattle and all Major League teams.
"Edgar Martinez is the string that binds together our franchise history," Mather said. "As we embark on our 40th anniversary season in 2017, Edgar has been in a Mariners Major League uniform for 20 of those seasons, all proudly wearing no. 11, and has been a part of our organization for 36 years. He has worn a Seattle uniform in parts of four decades (the 80s, 90s, 2000s and the 2010s), and today's announcement will assure that his number will be proudly displayed in Safeco Field forever.
"In addition to his Hall of Fame caliber career on the field, Edgar - and his wife Holli and family - have made Seattle their home and have been model citizens, giving generously of their time and treasure to help make the Northwest a better place. He is most deserving of the ultimate honor the Mariners franchise can bestow."
Martinez was the best right-handed hitter of his era. He retired at the conclusion of the 2004 season having spent his entire 18-year Major League career with the Mariners and finished with a lifetime .312 batting average, .418 on-base percentage and a .515 slugging percentage (.933 OPS). Edgar was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame on June 2, 2007.
Over his career, he made seven All-Star appearances, won a pair of batting titles, and five Outstanding Designated Hitter Awards. Upon his retirement, Major League Baseball renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award the Edgar Martinez Award. He also won five Silver Sluggers and is the franchise's all-time leader in doubles, runs, RBI, walks, RBI, extra-base hits and games played.
In the just announced balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2017, Edgar received 58.6 percent of the votes cast.
Off the field, Edgar was honored by Major League Baseball with the Roberto Clemente Award (MLB's top humanitarian award) and the City of Seattle renamed a section of South Atlantic Street (which runs alongside the ballpark) Edgar Martinez Drive in 2004. He was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 2007.
Martinez was the author of several of the biggest hits in Mariners postseason history, including the iconic double that scored Ken Griffey Jr. with the winning run in Game 5 to the 1995 Division Series to defeat the New York Yankees. He became the first player in MLB history to drive in 7 runs in a single postseason game in Game 4 of the '95 series, hitting a 3-run home run and a grand slam home run as the Mariners erased a 5-0 deficit to stave off elimination. In Game 4 of the 2001 Division Series at Cleveland, he drilled a 2-out, 2-run homer in the 9th inning (another elimination game for Seattle) to break open a 4-2 game.
The 2017 season will be Martinez's third season as the Mariners Major League hitting coach after being hired on June 20, 2015. In 2016, Seattle ranked sixth in the Majors in runs scored per game (4.74), its highest ranking since leading MLB in 2001. The club belted 223 home runs, third-most in the Majors. The home run total was the fifth-most ever by Seattle, and the most since the team moved into Safeco Field.
Martinez was signed by Seattle as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 19, 1982 (signed by Marty Martinez and Coco LaBoy).