There are now only 24 days until Pitchers and Catchers report to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. 24 is most notably Tino Martinez's number.
In his two stints with the Yankees, he hit 192 homers and drove in 739 runs. Tino was renowned for his defensive skills and timely hitting (see: Game 1, 1998 World Series vs. Trevor Hoffman, or Game 4 of the 2001 Fall Classic against Byung-Hyun Kim). In my opinion, he is the best 1B to never have won a Gold Glove.
His best season statistically came in 1997, when he was second in the American League in home runs and RBI (with 44 and 141 respectively), and finished second in AL Most Valuable Player voting.
In 2008, Martinez agreed to be a special instructor for the Yankees to help their first basemen with defensive skills. An all-around class act and nice guy. I remember talking to a him a few times during my 4 year "prison" stint in Boston. One of the nicest guys you ever want to meet.
Most admirable was his ability to replace longtime fan favorite Don Mattingly.
This Date In Baseball
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