Edgar Martinez is a business professional, humanitarian and retired Major League Baseball All-Star. He was born on January 2, 1963 in New York City and raised by his grandparents in the Maguayo neighborhood of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
While watching Roberto Clemente in the 1971 World Series, he became interested in the game of baseball. Clemente’s performance and the pride his family took in watching a fellow Puerto Rican in the World Series motivated him to begin playing ball in his backyard. Edgar moved onto Little League and quickly became the top hitter on the team.
While performing as a stand-out semi-pro, Edgar caught the eye of Seattle Mariners scout, Marty Martinez. After a tryout, he signed with the Mariners as an undrafted free agent in 1982 and made his Major League debut in 1987.
From that point on, he was a mainstay in the team’s lineup until his retirement in 2004. At the age of 29, he became the Mariner’s regular third baseman in 1990. In 1992, he won the first of two American League batting titles. He later transitioned to a full-time designated hitter and remained one of the most feared hitters throughout the rest of his career.
Edgar is most remembered by many for his 1995 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees where he hit .571, reaching base 18 times over 5 games. In Game 4, he hit a three-run homer and a grand slam en route to an 11-8 Mariners victory. His 7 RBI in that game set a postseason single-game record. Down 5-4 in the 11th inning of the decisive game five, Martinez hit a two-run double off Jack McDowell to score Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr., winning the game for the Mariners. That hit is simply referred to as “The Double” by Mariners fans to this day.
Edgar and his wife Holli have contributed countless hours, resources and dollars to many humanitarian causes, including; Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, including the Edgar Martínez Endowment for Muscular Dystrophy Research, established by the Mariners in honor of his retirement, and the Children’s Hospital Annual Wishing Well Night at Safeco Field.
Edgar has supported the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, Overlake Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Wishing Star Foundation, United Way, Esperanza, Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Mariners Care.
Edgar also hosts the annual Edgar Martinez golf classic to help raise funds to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
He now lives in Bellevue, Washington with Holli and their three children. He was CEO of Branded Solutions by Edgar Martinez until 2010 when the company integrated with Image Source. He now serves on the board and remains active in the company. In 2005, he cofounded Plaza Bank, Washington State’s first Hispanic bank.
In 2008, following a return to college for both Edgar and Holli, they founded The Martinez Foundation to “prepare and support diverse and highly-qualified teachers who will raise expectations, accelerate learning and close the achievement gap by granting scholarships and promoting innovative social justice curriculum.”