Pedro living the life of a Hall of Famer

FORT MYERS, Fla. ? What has life been like for Pedro Martinez since he became one of baseball?s newest Hall of Famers in January??Busy,” he said with a smile. “Very, very busy.”As popular as Martinez has always been ? both here and in his Dominican Republic homeland ? his status, especially in the Dominican, has grown exponentially since he was elected to the Hall of Fame. His is only the second inductee from the Dominican, and first since right-hander Juan Marichal in 1983.?This is a bigger deal than you probably think because we waited 33 years to have the next Hall of Famer,” Martinez said Thursday morning before the Red Sox began their workout. “It’s hard to believe having so many players in the Dominican and coming out of the Dominican that it?s been that long, but it has. And, in the Dominican Republic it?s a huge deal.”He is a frequent visitor to schools and to governmental events in his homeland.?I grew up really poor, very humble family,” he said. “And to actually make it and say I was successful in life, it?s a good example to the people. So they want to use me in every possible way to actually bring that hope to the next generation.”Martinez is also a role model to the next generation of Boston pitchers. A special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington, Martinez is in Red Sox camp in uniform, working with the pitchers. On Thursday morning, he monitored bullpen sessions, giving tips and offering advice.?It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to relate some of the knowledge I have, some of the things that I know, to these kids, pass it along,” Martinez said. “I am so happy to give it back because I?m not taking it with me.”?It?s exciting,” said Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves. “I love that he gets involved right away. Of course, the stories are fun to listen to. I was able to watch him more than play against him. So it?s quite fun.”As good as it is for pitchers to be able to pick the brain of one of the best pitchers of his generation, they also have to be cautious.?There?s only one Pedro,” Nieves said. “His stories are great, but you have to understand who you are as a pitcher. I cannot say it enough, there?s only one guy like him and that?s why he?s in the Hall of Fame, and these guys are trying to get there. But every pitcher has their own strength. We just work according to what they bring to the table.”Right-hander Matt Barnes grew up in Connecticut ? as a Yankees fan. While Martinez was not one of his idols because of that, Barnes could certainly appreciate his dominance.?When he was in his prime, he was unhittable,” Barnes said. “So I grew up watching him from the other side, but I always appreciated and respected what he did.?I?ve talked to him a couple of times one on one. I?ve worked on a couple of things with him, certain grips and stuff like that. It?s fantastic. Any time you can get a Hall of Fame pitcher to come back and give you some advice and talk to you about stuff when you?re playing catch or in bullpens, that?s a real benefit for us.” There are several stellar games that stand out in Martinez?s career. The one-hitter in Yankee Stadium when he struck out 17 in 1999. (The one hit? A home run to current Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis.) The 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Or when he came out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the ?99 ALDS against the Indians and threw six no-hit innings for the win.For Martinez, though, there is another game that stands out. Rather obscure by Pedro highlight standards, but meaningful to him. On Aug. 24, 2000, at Kansas City, then Red Sox manager Jimy Williams came to him before the game with a very specific request.?It was the first time ever I was asked, ?Can you go eight, minimum, so that I can save the bullpen?,? ” Martinez said. “And I went out and gave up five [runs] in the first inning. In any other circumstance, I would have been out. But I was committed to doing that and I ended up pitching eight innings, after giving up five in the first in

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