Edgar Martinez's best moments on his path to the Hall of Fame

From his first of 2,247 hits — a triple of all things — to his final standing ovation, Edgar Martinez left a mark on Seattle like few, if any, other athletes to come through this city.

He helped save baseball in Seattle, then helped the Mariners win a record 116 regular-season games in 2001. Before it was all over, Bob Melvin set him out to third base one last time.

Below, we remember the career of the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame by counting down his biggest moments along the way.

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The Double

Oct. 8, 1995

This list is topped, of course, by “The Double,” the biggest hit in Mariners’ history and one of the greatest moments in Seattle sports history. Down 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning of the deciding game of the ALDS against the Yankees, Martinez lashed the ball into the left-field corner off Jack McDowell, scoring Joey Cora from third and a fast-sprinting Ken Griffey Jr. from first base. The victory sent the Mariners into the ALCS against Cleveland.


Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

7 RBIs and a postseason record

Oct. 7, 1995

One day earlier, Martinez had almost single-handedly kept the Mariners alive in the series by driving in seven runs, which is still tied for the most in a post-season game. Edgar hit a three-run home run in the third inning after the Mariners fell behind 5-0, and then smashed a grand slam in the eighth inning with the score tied 6-6. Seattle’s 11-8 victory evened the series at two games apiece, with more heroics to come the next night.


Photo by Rod Mar / The Seattle Times

First MLB hit

Sept. 14, 1987

In his second major-league at-bat, leading off the bottom of the second inning at the Kingdome against Cleveland’s Reggie Ritter, 24-year-old September callup Edgar Martinez tripled to center field for his first major-league hit – the first of 2,247, and one of just 15 triples. The Mariners lost the game 11-8 in front of a crowd of 7,839 despite a career night from Mickey Brantley – three homers and seven RBIs.

Photo by Harley Soltes / The Seattle Times

A grand farewell

Oct. 2, 2004

Martinez’s next-to-last game before retirement was filled with poignant moments, none more so than when manager Bob Melvin – who would be fired a few days later after a 63-99 season – sent Edgar out to third base to start the ninth inning. It was his first time at third since July 2, 1997 at San Diego. After one pitch, Melvin called Martinez back to the dugout and replaced him at third with Willie Bloomquist, eliciting a prolonged, loving ovation. After the game, Martinez was honored with a ceremony during which commissioner Bud Selig announced that the designated hitter of the year award would be called The Edgar Martinez Award, and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said the city would rename the stretch of Atlantic Street that borders Safeco field Edgar Martinez Drive. After the ceremony, Martinez took a lap around the ballpark, slapping hands and waving to fans.


Photo by Rod Mar / The Seattle Times

The last ovation

Oct. 3, 2004

For the record, Martinez went 0-for-4 in his final game, with a 1-6-3 double-play in his final at-bat (the last hit of his career came two nights earlier, a single to center off Travis Hughes of the Rangers). But it was still a lovefest for Martinez, who was sent to the mound in the ninth inning to change pitchers at the start of the inning. That allowed one last ovation for the 41-year-old Martinez.


Photo by Rod Mar / The Seattle Times