Sunday, June 13, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 6/13/10

Time for another trip down the Mariners memory lane. I think today's player is one that many people should be familiar with. Yes, I know he had much more popularity with another ream, but more on that later. He started his career as a Mariner, so he is our player, not yours.

Constantino "Tino" Martinez was drafted by the Mariners in the first round of the 1988 draft out of the University of Tampa. After the draft, the summer of '88 saw Tino, and other future major leaguers Jim Abbott, Robin Ventura, Andy Benes, and Charles Nagy win Olympic gold in Seoul, South Korea for baseball. Tino would start his professional career in 1989 with the AA Williamsport Bills. The next year, Tino would be moved up to the AAA Calgary Cannons. In August of 1990, the Mariners brought Tino up the big club. Tino would get his first start on August 20, 1990 in Arlington, Texas. He would go 2 for 4 in a Mariners 6-5 walk off loss. For the month of September, he would split time with Pete O'Brien at first base. 

Tino would again spend most of the season in Calgary with the Cannons in 1991. Due to his numbers, he would be named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League for 1991. In mid-August, he was again called to join the team. He would play most everyday at first base in September of 1991. Starting in 1992, Tino was to stay with the Mariners. He would split time at first base and designated hitter again with Pete O'Brien.

 Starting in 1993, Tino would become the everyday first baseman for new manager, Lou Piniella. He would be replaced by Greg Pirkl after a season ending injury in August 1993. Tino would make his first All-Star appearance in 1995 in Arlington, Texas. Tino replaced teammate Edgar Martinez as the DH in the bottom of the 8th inning and got a single to right off future Mariner Heathcliff Slocumb. After the miracle playoff run of '95 by the Mariners, Tino was traded to the Yankees with Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir for Sterling Hitchcock and Russ Davis. Tino was replaced at first base by free agent Paul Sorrento.

Tino would win the first of four World Series titles with the Yankees in 1996. He would make the all star team again in 1997. He would take part in the home run derby that year at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. He would out-slug Larry Walker of the Rockies in the final to win the title. After spending six winning years with the Yankees, the team decided to sign free agent Jason Giambi to play first base allowing Tino to become a free agent. Tino would sign with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent  for the 2002 season to replace aging star Mark McGuire.

After two years with the Cardinals, Tino was traded to his hometown team. The Cardinals sent Tino and cash to the Devil Rays for Evan Rust and a player to be named later(John-Paul Davis). Tino would have a fairly productive year in 2004 under manager Lou Piniella. He also was very important as a mentor for the young players in Tampa. After the 2004 season, Tino would sign with the Yankees for a second tour with the team in 2005. This time, Tino replaced Giambi at first, with Jason moving to the DH spot.

Before the start of the 2006 season, Tino decided it was time to retire. He received an offer from ESPN to do broadcasting on the Baseball Tonight show. He would do the same in 2007. Tino also spent time in 2007 as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of South Florida for coach Lelo Prado.

Tino took a position with the Yankees in 2008 to be a special instructor to work with the first basemen on defensive skills in spring training. At the start of the season, he was named as a special assistant to General Manager Brian Cashman. With the start of 2010 season, Tino moved into the broadcasting booth with the YES Network as a color commentator. He would be replacing former Yankee David Cone. His first regular season game came on April 9th in Tampa Bay against the Rays.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed this post alot as Tino is one of my all time favorite players and one I collect.