Detroit Tigers’ Victor Martinez hung up his bat this weekend after a 16-year long career. Martinez announced on Friday that he was going to call it quits after a successful career in the Tigers’ home game on Saturday evening against the Kansas City Royals.
Martinez’s career was definitely one for the books. He played in 969 games as a Tiger and 1,973 overall. He started out with the Cleveland Indians after he signed in 1996, and then was called up to the big leagues on September 10th, 2002. The Indians honored him on September 15th with a pregame ceremony to celebrate his retirement. The Indians ended up beating the Tigers 15-0, despite the tear-inspiring commemoration before the competition.
In summer of 2009, V-Mart was traded to the Boston Red Sox. At that time, he was splitting time between first base and the Red Sox catcher. He then moved on to the Tigers, becoming a designated hitter for the majority of his play. In his career, he has won the Silver Slugger Award twice and appeared as an MLB All-Star twice. The Venezuelan native made his country proud by being the top native Venezuelan MLB hitter.
Following his cardiovascular surgery and recovery from late 2017 up until early 2018, Martinez was having trouble on the field and announced in mid-August that this season was the beginning of the end for his MLB career. Martinez, at 39-years-old, will retire to be a full-time father for his 5-year-old daughter and will live in Orlando, Florida.
In the game on Saturday against the Royals, Martinez started at 1st base after a request from Tigers’ manager Ron Gardenhire. This was the first time Martinez had played this position since 2016. He hit an infield single and then was replaced by another hitter. The Tigers ended up winning the game 5-4 and tying the series (2-2). Martinez said of his final days of baseball that he “enjoyed every single moment” and that he’s “leaving this game with no regrets.”
Here’s a video of Martinez’s exit and standing ovation, straight from the Tigers’ twitter:
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 22, 2018
Featured Image via Keith Allison