Pedro Martinez: A Hero to His People

Like Hank Greenberg three quarters of a century ago, Pedro Martinez’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame is a victory for his home nation the Dominican Republic. A fierce competitor, Martinez strung together some of the most dominant pitching seasons in the history of baseball, comparable only to that of the Jewish star Sandy Koufax who pitched thirty years before him. In the greatest offensive era the sport had ever seen, Martinez was close to unhittable, which made him an icon in the eyes of his Dominican neighbors. He is only the second Dominican born player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first was Juan Marichel, also a right handed pitcher. Pedro Martinez represents hope for the Dominican people, hoping to work with Major League Baseball’s commissioner to help bring more Dominicans to the sport. He means as much to the people of the Dominican Republic as Hank Greenberg did to Jewish communities all across the country in the 1930s and 40s. Both men transcend the typical athlete, inspiring their people to achieve great things. View Pedro’s full speech here.

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