TODAY IS EDGAR'S BIRTHDAY! Today is the birthday of Edgar Martinez, one of the…

Jim Caple


Today is the birthday of Edgar Martinez, one of the greatest players in Mariners history. And someone who spent his entire career with the team, unlike so many others.

Edgar reached the majors in 1987, playing briefly that season and the next. He started at third base and then went on to lead the league in batting as a designated hitter two times – hitting .343 in 1992 and .356 in 1995 – and also led the AL in RBIs with 145 in 2000 when he was 37 years old. He batted .312 for his career with a .418 OBP and a .933 OPS.

His famous Game 5 double in the 1995 division series against the Yankees not only scored Ken Griffey Jr. to beat New York, his home run and grand slam in Game 4 is what kept the team alive that postseason. He batted .571 with 10 RBIs during that five-game series.

Edgar was a seven-time All-Star as well, including when he was 40 years old! He also helped the Mariners to their four postseason playoffs, including the last one in 2001. And he was so good that the annual award for best designated hitter was named for him after he retired in 2004.

After Edgar finished his playing career, he worked for the Mariners as a spring training and minor league instructor, and then later was the team’s batting coach. As Robinson Cano said once of his coaching ability: “I would say he’s helped big time. The way he talks to us. He’s patient. He tells you positive things.’’

Cano also said: “He’s a great, great, great, great human being.’’

Edgar also was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. His Hall of Fame plaque includes this line: “One of the game’s best pure batsmen. Defined designated hitter position with a precise batting eye and ability to consistently drive the ball to all fields.’’ And as former Mariner Jay Buhner said in a video shown at that induction: “He was the most feared right-handed hitter. Period.’’

“Thank you Seattle fans. You are the best fans I could ever hope for,’’ Edgar said at the ceremony. “I am so glad that I stayed with you until the end of my career. I love you, Seattle fans.’’

Because of his stupendous career, the street outside T-Mobile Park is named Edgar Martinez Drive and fans at games can also enjoy food at the Edgar’s Cantina beyond left field. There also is a painting of him on a building just down the block from the ballpark. You can also buy jerseys with his name on the back.

Again, today is his 57th birthday. He deserves much applause. Because he has done so much for the Mariners and is such a great person. Happy birthday Edgar!