Pedro Martinez Memories

Oil Can Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2003
6,755
0-3 to 4-3
[SIZE=10.5pt]I know we've had threads like this before, but it's Pedro HOF weekend and I think it's appropriate and okay if we're a little bit repetitive.  If this should go somewhere else please move on my behalf.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]I was born & raised in Boston but moved to VA when I was 10 in 1981.  I took the love of Yaz, Rice and the Sox with me.  My passion only grew as I did, but it was challenging being a Sox (and Bruins, and Celtics) fan living so far away. I was never part of the 'home team', and the internets weren't there yet so it was tough to follow along.  I had to rely on TWiB and calling 202-362-4444 over and over and over again to get the latest update on the Sox score.  And then pray that Channel 4 would show at least one clip from the game later that night.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]When I was making a little money in the mid-90's I started flying up to Boston for a weekend to take in three games at Fenway each season.  It was always amazing.  I couldn't believe I was there.  I couldn't believe I was in the midst of so many Sox fans.  It was always surreal.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]When Dan Duquette acquired Pedro (thanks again, Dan!) I immediately targeted the opening series vs Seattle in 1998 for my weekend trip.  My birthday happened to be on Opening Day - the game that the Big Unit went 8 strong innings but the Mariners blew a 7-2 9th inning lead and Mo Vaughn won it with a walk-off grand slam.  Fenway was electric!  But the next day - that was Pedro's first Fenway start as a Red Sox. That was really why I was in town. The atmosphere was like nothing I had seen - huge Dominican flags waving, people with Dominican flags painted on their faces, dancing, singing.  It was next-level stuff.  Pedro spun a complete-game, two hit shutout over a lineup that included a young ARod, Griffey and Edgar Martinez. Boston based fans and scribes all talked about how nothing like this had happened in Fenway since the Tiant days, and even then it wasn’t like this.  Welcome to Fenway, Pedro![/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]The next year I bought Directv for the sole purpose of being able to watch Sox games in Virginia. Yes, the Sox were the draw but really I wanted to see Pedro, and if I missed a Pedro start there was a pretty good reason. Didn’t happen often. I remember having the game on during my fantasy football draft in Aug of 2000 - the day of the infamous game vs Tampa where Gerald Williams charged the mound.  Had one eye on the tv as that happened, and both on the tv in the 9th when the no-hitter was still intact.  Does anyone else remember that Pedro’s neck-chain broke the pitch before the no-no was broken up?  JINX![/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]I moved back to Boston in Jan of ’04 and was so lucky to be in the area for that magical season.  I was seated near the dugout for a game that Pedro wasn’t pitching that season.  In between innings Pedro popped his head out from the dugout and started tossing…something around to various fans.  Yes, I was 33 years old but I wanted one of whatever it was he was playfully tossing out.  By luck one came spinning my way and I dove into to the step area to catch it, busting up my elbow along the way.  I still have that unwrapped piece of Bazooka gum today.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]There are so many Pedro memories – most of which we’re all familiar with like out-of-the-pen vs Cleveland, 17k vs NY, ’99 AS game, Cy Young vs Cy Old.  I don’t mind hearing and reading about all of those but curious to know if any SoSHers have any lesser known Pedro memories to share on this glorious HOF weekend.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt][/SIZE]
 
Pedro!
 

brs3

sings praises of pinstripes
SoSH Member
May 20, 2008
4,955
Jackson Heights, NYC
You know how kids used to watch scrambled* porn on Spice, hoping to see a stray nipple? I used to watch scrambled* NESN in hopes of seeing a stray swing and a miss during Pedro starts.
 
* Kids of today don't even know what that means!
 

luckysox

Eeyore
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2009
7,748
S.E. Pennsylvania
My favorite personal Pedro memory is from Sept 10, 2003 at Camden Yards vs. the Orioles.  I sat in the left field seats with a good friend who was a huge Philies fan.   It was pretty empty out there with the exception of the Sox fans that came down to watch. Pedro went 8 innings, gave up only 3 hits and 2BB and K'd 9.  He retired the first 6 batters he faced, which (and this is ridiculous, but, hey, it was Pedro) gave me a tiny feeling way in the back of my head that just possibly something amazing could happen.  Back then, you just never knew, and he had that "thing' on that day...lots of K's and pop ups. It was a nice Pedro day.
 

BosRedSox5

what's an original thought?
Sep 6, 2006
1,471
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I grew up in Maine and the family moved to PA before Pedro joined the Red Sox. We didn't have a lot of money, so I never got a chance to see Pedro in person... but as a Red Sox fan in Yankee country during high school, Pedro was the one trump card you could play.He was absolutely dominating. I remember thinking videogames at the time weren't realistic because I could only get 10 strikeouts a game with Pedro. 
 
Towards the end of his Boston tenure, I remember a big deal being made on the Redsox.com fan forums about the impending doom of the 2004/2005 offseason. Pedro, Varitek, Nomar and Derek Lowe were all scheduled to have their current contracts expire after 2004. This was a couple years beforeTheo and people were worried about it. How was Duquette going to pull this off and make sure he could keep the core together? 

Eventually Duquette was fired and the team made a big leap forward in 2003. After that season people were pretty well downtrodden but after getting Curt Schilling there was new hope. Finally Pedro would have a compliment in the rotation. No longer would the #2 pitcher be someone like Pat Rapp or Bret Saberhagen or Frank Castillo or Hideo Nomo or David Cone or...
 
I understood why the team let Pedro leave after 2004. A combination of already losing Nomar and winning the WS softened the blow. It was the right move to make, but I still wish that he'd been able to finish his career in Boston. He was terrific for the Mets in 2005, but soon showed that he wasn't going to be able to fulfill his contract. 

I wonder if the Red Sox will have another player who's as big an icon as Pedro was. 
 

AMcGhie

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2006
3,387
Portland, OR
I worked at the movie theater down the street from Fenway in '03 and '04, and on multiple occasions, Pedro came in on off-days with about a dozen kids, and took them to whatever kids movies were out.  I had a couple chances to have brief conversations with him while selling/ripping tickets, nothing beyond the "hey, nice game yesterday," but he was always nice.  Nothing like the bombastic baseball persona that he had. 
 

SeanBerry

Knows about the CBA.
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2003
3,599
Section 519
Going to Pedro Games was the highlight of my 1998-2000 life. I say that with nothing but total honestly. I was taking some time off after high school and didn't have a lot going on personally as I watched most of my friends go to college or the military. I'd go to school too but not until 2000 so going to those starts  were the best event going and just watching him pitch on TV was a gift.
 
My favorite Pedro game was actually in 2001. It was against the pathetic Devil Rays and Pedro just had his way with them. He would strike out 16 batters in only 8 IP. It was total domination. 
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200104080.shtml
 
I love Pedro. He's my favorite athlete of all-time in any sport. 
 

JoePoulson

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 28, 2006
1,691
Orlando, FL
I was born in 1974, and grew up in the Midwest.  It was difficult to watch Sox games on the regular in that region, so getting to see Pedro on TV was extremely special.  When I *finally* got to see my first game in Fenway, it was May 23, 2000, and it was a Pedro start.  What luck!  During what was arguably his best season even.  Of course, he took the loss, as the Blue Jays beat him 3-2.  Regardless, it's no less memorable, and I'm so very thankful that I not only got to see him pitch live, but got to do so while at Fenway for the very first time.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200005230.shtml
 

jscola85

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
1,305
Best memory of Pedro has to be the 2000 Clemens duel for me, for so many reasons.  I was able to attend in person, as it came right after my birthday and I got tickets as a gift and made my first trip to the Old Toilet.  Trot Nixon was my favorite position player at that time, and he came up with the game-winning hit.  Clemens was in the midst of a bounceback season with the hated Yankees.  Pedro was at perhaps his absolute apex in 99-2000, and the duel between these two guys was just incredible.  Best non-playoff Red Sox game I have ever attended, and I will be hard-pressed to match that ever again.  10 combined Cy Young awards, all the bad blood flowing through the two teams at the time, just amazing stuff.  In a pre-DVR world, it became an ESPN "Instant Classic" and I was fortunate enough to be able to tape the replay, which I think I still have somewhere buried in a box with a bunch of old VHS tapes.
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,501
Portland
I remember driving down to spring training from 1997-2000 and trying to collect autographs.
A lot of the guys were available, but only a few would really chat or engage.  Eck was good, Lowe would crack jokes, Carl Everett of all people was great, Sabes seemed nice, Lou Merloni talked with everyone,  Hatteberg too. Dauber, Wake, Varitek, Darren Lewis, Reggie Jefferson.  Nomar would sign but it was mechanical and at the same time every day for the same length of time (of course).
 
I just remember that Pedro looked every last person in the eye, took his time and it didn't feel like it was an inconvenience.  It seemed like he enjoyed it, and he made sure he signed for as many kids as possible.
 

jmcc5400

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
2,695
There was a moment in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS that I will always remember.  In the bottom of the 6th, game still 8-8, Pedro walked Sandy Alomar with two out.  Alomar, in a pretty transparent effort to break Pedro's rhythm, took about 2 minutes untying and retying his shoes at first base.  Pedro shot him a look of utter disdain - along the lines of please, I'm Pedro Martinez.  You will not score but you will get 96MPH in the ribs next time we meet - and went back to dominating the Tribe. 
 
I checked the youtube video of the game that MLB posted (sorry, can't post link) and it happens around the 1:51 mark.  For some reason the close-up of Pedro's look to Alomar is cut out (maybe they show it on replay the next inning or something), but you can see Alomar break into a smile when he sees that Pedro is glaring at him. 
 

24JoshuaPoint

Grand Theft Duvet
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2004
4,639
Cell Block C
Spring Training 2004. We had just gotten in the door around 10am for opening day in Ft. Myers. We were walking by one of the facilities near the stadium and the first player/red sox person we saw was Pedro sitting at a wooden bench talking a significant other or family member. Just talking like a normal person and doing non god like things. I wanted to say his name or something to see if he would acknowledge us but i didn't thankfully (we hadn't really started drinking heavily yet).
 
There were probably other moments but for some reason that just sticks out. When a member here posted a picture of him a seat or two in front of him on a flight i thought that was wicked cool and sent that photo to half of my friends. (the non yankee half)
 

Skiponzo

Member
SoSH Member
I once watched a PBS show on the making of Vegas. In it Steve Wynn talked about what the feeling in the city was like during the heyday of the Rat Pack. He said there had since been nothing like it anywhere. This is the same feeling that used to accompany Pedro starts. I know folks here understand that but so many do not. Explaining it to my kids who never saw him pitch for the Sox is like explaining how thoughts are made...you get it but don't *really* understand. That mix of feelings of excitement, anticipation, desire and something else intangible will most likely never be re-created. Hell, even my non baseball wife used to ask "Is Pedro starting tonight?"
 
My favorite personal memory of Pedro comes from his time with the Mets. I was at a Mets/Padres game in SD with my oldest son. We were watching outfield warm ups and out came Pedro...my son and I happened to have the perfect vantage point to see him. Fans started yelling and my son, who was little at the time, got this worried look on his face...too many adults acting ways he had never seen...including his dad. I had my Sox gear on and was yelling like a 10 year old "Pedro...Pedro...Thanks for all the awesome memories!" and pointing to my hat. He came walking over to us, throwing baseballs into the crowd as he came and looking directly at me. I was thinking "He's gonna throw me a ball. I'm gonna get a ball from PEDRO MARTINEZ". He gets close and while still looking me in the eye rares back to throw...at the last minute he looked to my son and tossed the ball to him. I will NEVER forget that. 
 

TheoShmeo

Skrub's sympathy case
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
12,890
Boston, NY
Two things.
 
One, and this one does not have a happy ending, but I distinctly remember how proud of Pedro I was, and how grateful to Pedro I was, when he walked off the mound after 7 innings in Game 7 of 2003.  People overuse this phrase, but the tension was truly palpable in Yankee Stadium that night.  Pedro details the lead up to the game quite well in his new book.  But all I know is that from the stands in NY, I knew that he had made it through 7 grueling innings against a strong bitter rival's line-up, and the Sox were winning 4-2 when he walked to the dug out and pointed to the heavens.  I can't recall ever having more appreciation for the effort a Boston athlete gave.  The closest I think I have come is how I felt about Brady after this year's Super Bowl.  Or Adam after the Snow Bowl kicks.
 
Two, this is more general.  I have an overriding memory of Pedro's other worldly dominance in the 99-01 period.  The amount of Ks. The crazy strike out to walk ration.  The ERA.  Everything.  And what that lead to for me was a feeling that when it was a Pedro start, the Sox were almost assured of a victory.  That is of course an overstatement, but I recall thinking before every game that there was no good reason why they shouldn't win the game.  I've had that same thought at other times (Schilling is 04 and Beckett in 07), but it's pretty rare.  With Pedro, it lasted for three solid seasons, except in the aftermath of some of his DL stints.  I miss rooting for such a dominant pitcher.  It's one of the coolest things in sports fandom for me. 
 

canderson

"Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Political Guru"
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
27,060
Harrisburg, Pa.
Pedro made me fall in love with baseball again. I have not so much a specific favorite memory but a specific time this happened.
 
Growing up I was a huge baseball fan, followed the Texas Rangers and went to many games with the parents. Then I got heavily into basketball in middle school and baseball fall off the radar completely. I did stats for our high school baseball team but didn't pay attention to any college or MLB stuff.
 
I was at a friend's house in 1998 and we had the May 3 game vs Texas on and Pedro was pitching. His pitching lured me into focusing on the game for the first time in a long time and then I immediately started following all his starts. By the end of that season I was hooked again on baseball as my top sport and it's remained that way ever since. 
 
That game was a usual Pedro affair. 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (not earned though), 2 BB, 9 K. 
 

jscola85

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
1,305
Skiponzo said:
I once watched a PBS show on the making of Vegas. In it Steve Wynn talked about what the feeling in the city was like during the heyday of the Rat Pack. He said there had since been nothing like it anywhere. This is the same feeling that used to accompany Pedro starts. I know folks here understand that but so many do not. Explaining it to my kids who never saw him pitch for the Sox is like explaining how thoughts are made...you get it but don't *really* understand. That mix of feelings of excitement, anticipation, desire and something else intangible will most likely never be re-created. Hell, even my non baseball wife used to ask "Is Pedro starting tonight?"
 
My favorite personal memory of Pedro comes from his time with the Mets. I was at a Mets/Padres game in SD with my oldest son. We were watching outfield warm ups and out came Pedro...my son and I happened to have the perfect vantage point to see him. Fans started yelling and my son, who was little at the time, got this worried look on his face...too many adults acting ways he had never seen...including his dad. I had my Sox gear on and was yelling like a 10 year old "Pedro...Pedro...Thanks for all the awesome memories!" and pointing to my hat. He came walking over to us, throwing baseballs into the crowd as he came and looking directly at me. I was thinking "He's gonna throw me a ball. I'm gonna get a ball from PEDRO MARTINEZ". He gets close and while still looking me in the eye rares back to throw...at the last minute he looked to my son and tossed the ball to him. I will NEVER forget that. 
 
That's the thing I love about Pedro.  He was bigger than life itself when he was at his apex here, his starts a true event to behold (though it was made more stark when the other rotation mates were the likes of Mark Portugal, Pat Rapp, and Brian Rose).  Despite that, he relished the attention in a way that didn't make him come off as an egomaniac.  I've heard stories like this and the spring training anecdote from 24JoshuaPoint over and over - the guy just loved being in Boston and loved the fans around him.
 
His peak is just hard to comprehend when you look back.  In 2000, the runner up to his unanimous Cy Young was Tim Hudson, whose ERA was 2.4(!) runs higher than Pedro's 1.74 ERA.  I don't think you will see that kind of disparity again in a generation or more.  So frustrating to see Kershaw and Verlander win and Pedro get hosed back in 1999.
 

yeahlunchbox

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 21, 2008
409
My favorite "ordinary" Pedro game was 5/12/2001 against Oakland. It was a beautiful day out, and I headed up to the game as part of a URI group trip, so a good amount of Yankees fans and people making their first trip to the park were going as well. As others talked about, that feeling and buzz around the park was something totally different, and the bleachers were absolutely crazy. Pedro went 7 and allowed 3 ER, striking out 12 in the process. And to cap the whole thing Manny hit a home run off of Gil Heredia that seemed to travel higher, faster and further than anything else I'd ever seen. I had a similar vantage point for Manny's walk off in the 07 ALDS, and this home run against Oakland was hit way better.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200105120.shtml
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
10,927
I got to see him pitch live once:  7/23/2000.  Jimy Williams had one of his most awesome lineups in which the immortal Ed Sprague and his 0.599 OPS was batting cleanup.  Izzy Alcantara was the DH.  15 K's and 0 BB's later and the Sox eke out a 1-0 victory.  Statistically, the Sox win probability went to 68% when they scratched out their one run in the 4th inning.  In actuality, it was probably closer to 95%; Pedro was indeed that good during his 1999-00 period of dominance.   
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200007230.shtml
 

czar

fanboy
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
4,183
Ann Arbor
Sadly, this was my only Pedro game. I remember Pedro being sharp but not completely overwhelming, although he was lifted at 90-something pitches (I don't remember if this was one of his "injury" periods).
 
Rudy Seanez and Jason Shiell played large roles on a day the bullpen managed not 1, not 2, but 3 blown saves at the old Veterans Stadium. If only I could drink when I was 18...
 
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=230621122
 

Soxfan in Fla

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2001
7,174
I was at the Pedro start in Tampa that started with the Ice Williams brawl and the stupidity that followed from the Rays throughout the game and finished with losing the no hitter in the 9th. Just an amazing performance considering all the distractions in that game.

Pedro was a joy to watch then and now too on MLB Network. Great insight and fun to listen to.
 

8slim

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
15,547
Unreal America
“I’m starting to hate talking about the Yankees. The questions are so stupid. They’re wasting my time. It’s getting kind of old . . . I don’t believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the ass, pardon me the word.”
 
He's the greatest ballplayer I've ever seen.  I'm not sure there's a close second.  
 

Doc Zero

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2007
9,688
It's 2004 and I don't remember the game, but my dad and I were going to the movies and we sat in an idling car in a Stamford parking lot waiting for Pedro to get out of a late-inning jam. At one point Castiglione said that "you can feel October in the air."

Couldn't tell you anything else about that game but I remember how that car felt and what the air outside smelled like.

And to me, that's baseball.
 

njexpress9

lurker
Jul 20, 2005
63
One of my first dates with my now wife was in August of 1999.   We lived in NYC and I scored 2 tickets to Fenway against Seattle.   I could not believe my luck when Pedro was scheduled to start.   We arrive at the game and had great seats down the 3rd base line.   I was out of my mind when BRYCE FLORIE takes the mound.   Devastated that there was no Pedro and suddenly scared that he might be injured.   Little did I know he was late in arriving and was being punished... Long story short Pedro came in relief around the 5th inning with the Sox up 7-1.  I remember he looked really pissed.   First or second batter was Arod who jacked one out.  After that it was domination.  Good win and a chance to see a legend.  My wife later told me she thought I was going to cry when Florie walked to the mound.
 
Was able to catch some starts in Shea but it just wasn't the same.   I feel lucky to have been able to cheered for Pedro.
 
Edit:  August 14, 1999   http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199908140.shtml
 

Oil Can Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2003
6,755
0-3 to 4-3
njexpress9 said:
One of my first dates with my now wife was in August of 1999.   We lived in NYC and I scored 2 tickets to Fenway against Seattle.   I could not believe my luck when Pedro was scheduled to start.   We arrive at the game and had great seats down the 3rd base line.   I was out of my mind when BRYCE FLORIE takes the mound.   Devastated that there was no Pedro and suddenly scared that he might be injured.   Little did I know he was late in arriving and was being punished... Long story short Pedro came in relief around the 5th inning with the Sox up 7-1.  I remember he looked really pissed.   First or second batter was Arod who jacked one out.  After that it was domination.  Good win and a chance to see a legend.  My wife later told me she thought I was going to cry when Florie walked to the mound.
 
Was able to catch some starts in Shea but it just wasn't the same.   I feel lucky to have been able to cheered for Pedro.
 
Edit:  August 14, 1999   http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199908140.shtml
 
The Globe had a picture from what I think was this game:
 
 

behindthepen

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
6,236
Section 41
I was lucky enough to get pretty good seats for the 99 ASG, close enough to see the action on pitches.  First time I'd ever seen Pedro pitch live, I believe.
 
On a night when every living baseball legend was assembled on the Fenway Park diamond, the most vivid memory for me will always be how he dominated the first two innings of that game against a terrifying lineup.  I remember being disappointed they caught Matt Williams stealing because I wanted to see him strike another guy out.  It was surprising that Williams even put the ball in play.
 
I had never, and have never seen another pitcher throw so hard with so much action.  It was electrifying.
 

plucy

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2006
393
a rock and a hard place
I had a connection to A's ticket office and bought 10 tix at discount to Pedro's first Red Sox start. Gathered up my Red Sox fan friends, nephew and niece from Framingham, and saw him at the Coliseum. Our seats were ten rows up from the Red Sox bullpen. We kept yelling "Pedro!" during his warmups until he looked up and gave us that smile.
 

kieckeredinthehead

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
8,167
Games I got to attend with Pedro pitching:
 
May 25, 1998 v. Toronto (the only stinker, but I do remember sitting behind a guy who was calling Pedro's pitches to his buddy. Still haven't figured out how he did that)
June 4, 1999 v. Atlanta (Frye steals home and Fenway goes into the Tomahawk chop)
September 10, 1999 @ New York (transcendent doesn't quite do it justice; one of the best non-personal nights of my life)
July 19, 2002 @ New York
July 7, 2003 @ New York (arrived just after Jeter got taken to the hospital; around the sixth, somebody in the bleachers started yelling about Dominican fans not speaking English, was definitely there for him being taken to the hospital)
September 8, 2004 @ Oakland (finishing off the sweep at Oakland; getting on the BART somebody yelled "Next stop Kenmore")
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
51,960
San Andreas Fault
plucy said:
I had a connection to A's ticket office and bought 10 tix at discount to Pedro's first Red Sox start. Gathered up my Red Sox fan friends, nephew and niece from Framingham, and saw him at the Coliseum. Our seats were ten rows up from the Red Sox bullpen. We kept yelling "Pedro!" during his warmups until he looked up and gave us that smile.
I watched that game on TV, going in with hopes that the Sox had an outstanding pitcher, but not necessarily a great one. For years, decades, we couldn't have nice things, or more like we couldn't win with them anyway. As the innings went by in that game, it was obvious he could be great, and it turned out he was. His fluidity, rhythm, confidence, command, control, everything was outstanding. 7 shutout innings, but 116 pitches. Maybe the A's were being very pitch selective already. Two starts after that, he showed the complete kickass Pedro.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199804110.shtml
 

Dollar

Member
SoSH Member
May 5, 2006
8,375
Growing up, I was able to go to a bunch of Sox games.  Unfortunately, that almost always meant I was watching a game pitched by Pete Schourek, Frank Castillo, or John Burkett.  Things would never quite work out to let me see Pedro in person.  I got to see some great games, like Carlos Baerga and Rickey Henderson teaming up to beat the Yankees, but never got the coveted Pedro tickets.  That all changed in August 2004 when I got to see my first game from the Monster seats, and luckily enough Pedro Martinez was pitching that night.  He didn't have his best stuff, but I didn't care.  I knew I was watching one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and I knew he had a good shot of winning a World Series that year, and that was enough for me.  In the end, it was a great game punctuated by a walk-off O-Cab double off the Monster directly below where I was sitting, but the fact that I got to see Pedro pitch in person made it an amazing night for me.
 

bschase2

Member
SoSH Member
This game. 1998, towards the beginning of his tenure. I remember him saying in the interview after the game something along the lines of "I guess that will have to do" when asked about the lack of run support. Nothing about that fact that the team wasn't that good, or that he's just trying to do his job. It was, you give me a run, I'll give you the game, and I don't care who's on the other side.

He was pitching against one of the best, and his attitude struck me. I'd never heard someone speak this way. I miss Pedro more than anyone I've never met. And I'll be waxing rhapsodic about him to my grand kids the way I heard about Ted Williams.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199807150.shtml
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,044
Pedro was the greatest pitcher of All Time IMO, but I didnt know that for sure at the time of my strongest memory of one of his starts. This start may have been his best start, a 17K dominance of the Yankees in September of 1999, marred only by Chili Davis HR.   It was an especially strong memory since I lived overseas and was back in Boston for a couple of weeks, and looking forward to seeing games on TV (no mlb.tv then).  I had a home in the area with a really old TV, 1970 vintage floor model.  With a Pedro start coming up I wanted to watch it on a real TV so I hauled myself over to Sears and bought a 32 in Sony model which weighed about 300 lbs (not like the slim HDTV's today).  I couldn't wait for delivery so I figured I could handle it myself even though I had to navigate a flight of stairs being my house was a split level ranch.   I was on my own as it was a workday for everyone else and nobody was around to help, but I did manage it, although it damn near killed me.  Got it set up, turned it on, and nothing.  Once I realized it really was not going to work after a long time in denial and fiddling with everything I could fiddle with and a few prayers,  I almost cried.  But I was committed, so I packed the damn thing up again, surely going down was easier than going up, although going up into the truck was a bit harder than getting it off.  Made the damn return and exchange, and did it all over again, which was harder than the first time.  But this one worked.  I enjoyed the game on my new TV, my back killing me, knuckles scraped, but the beer was cold, the pizza was good, and the game was even better. 
 

PT Sox Fan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
416
PA
Only caught him live once, but it was a good one.  May 12, 2000 in Camden Yards.  A 2-hit shutout with 15 Ks. We sat waaaaay up along the 3B side, and to see the crowd shift over the course of the game and cheer his every pitch by the end was awesome.
 

Jordu

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2003
7,058
Brookline
Summer 1999, Sox playing Braves. I'm sitting in home plate with a guy from England who works for me and wants to learn more about baseball.

I think the hitter was Jeff Frye. First pitch: curveball for a strike. Second pitch: change-up that freezes Frye. Strike two.

"He's out," I say.

"No," says the Englishman. "Only two strikes. Right?"

"He's out," I say.

Next pitch: fastball on the outside corner. Frye way late with his swing. Strike three.

"Oh," says the Englishman. "I see."
 

kieckeredinthehead

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
8,167
Jordu said:
Summer 1999, Sox playing Braves. I'm sitting in home plate with a guy from England who works for me and wants to learn more about baseball.

I think the hitter was Jeff Frye. First pitch: curveball for a strike. Second pitch: change-up that freezes Frye. Strike two.

"He's out," I say.

"No," says the Englishman. "Only two strikes. Right?"

"He's out," I say.

Next pitch: fastball on the outside corner. Frye way late with his swing. Strike three.

"Oh," says the Englishman. "I see."
Glavine was pretty nasty
 

Section30

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2010
881
Portland OR
My wife and I moved to Boston in 1993 for graduate school. I went to several Red Sox games over the first few years but could never get my wife to try a game. She is a opera singer and had never followed any sports at all. I finally got her to try a game in 1997. I spent way to much to get 4th row Pesky Pole tickets. We were facing Cleveland with 6 lefty batters and I had hopes of a foul ball coming our way.
 
It was like a magic carpet ride. We are on the T when I hear fans talking about it being a Pedro game. The crowd was buzzing hours before the start. The look on my wife's face when we came out into the stands. She was very quiet, taking it all in. This very unusual for a singer. The crowd goes crazy when Pedro comes out for warmups. After about 5 pitches she turns to me and says," I had no idea how fast the ball is." Pedro was so dominant that most of the batters were late on their swings and most of the foul balls went down the third base line. We win the game on a late home run to right field.
 
My wife gets hooked on the game. Within 6 months she finds a friend who has season tickets and works out a deal to get half of the tickets. We go to games for the next 9 years, develop new friendships with people in the seats around us, enjoy playoff baseball for the first time ever.
 
My wife befriends the Christian players wives on the team as they all go to her church. She gets us invited to the pig roast after the 2004 parade that the coaching staff puts on for the team. When the players and their families arrive after the parade it's like they are aurally shocked, they were swaying and couldn't hear you unless you talked very loud.  I find myself sitting with Curt and Shonda, Trot, and a couple of other players in the front room of David Jausses house replaying their video shot on the duck boats. You can see the pictures but all you hear is white noise. It was pretty surreal but part of being invited was to treat them like friends from church and most definitely not engage in fan behavior.
 
Even though we live on the west coast now we both still follow the Sox. It was a magical time. And Pedro was the best part of it.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
25,649
Hingham, MA
Section30 said:
My wife and I moved to Boston in 1993 for graduate school. I went to several Red Sox games over the first few years but could never get my wife to try a game. She is a opera singer and had never followed any sports at all. I finally got her to try a game in 1997. I spent way to much to get 4th row Pesky Pole tickets. We were facing Cleveland with 6 lefty batters and I had hopes of a foul ball coming our way.
 
It was like a magic carpet ride. We are on the T when I hear fans talking about it being a Pedro game. The crowd was buzzing hours before the start. The look on my wife's face when we came out into the stands. She was very quiet, taking it all in. This very unusual for a singer. The crowd goes crazy when Pedro comes out for warmups. After about 5 pitches she turns to me and says," I had no idea how fast the ball is." Pedro was so dominant that most of the batters were late on their swings and most of the foul balls went down the third base line. We win the game on a late home run to right field.
 
My wife gets hooked on the game. Within 6 months she finds a friend who has season tickets and works out a deal to get half of the tickets. We go to games for the next 9 years, develop new friendships with people in the seats around us, enjoy playoff baseball for the first time ever.
 
My wife befriends the Christian players wives on the team as they all go to her church. She gets us invited to the pig roast after the 2004 parade that the coaching staff puts on for the team. When the players and their families arrive after the parade it's like they are aurally shocked, they were swaying and couldn't hear you unless you talked very loud.  I find myself sitting with Curt and Shonda, Trot, and a couple of other players in the front room of David Jausses house replaying their video shot on the duck boats. You can see the pictures but all you hear is white noise. It was pretty surreal but part of being invited was to treat them like friends from church and most definitely not engage in fan behavior.
 
Even though we live on the west coast now we both still follow the Sox. It was a magical time. And Pedro was the best part of it.
Not to be a dick but... I didn't realize the Expos hosted Cleveland in Fenway in 97!
 

joyofsox

empty, bleak
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
7,542
Vancouver Island
Spring training trip in 2000. After watching a game in Fort Myers, we were walking down the street alongside the park's parking lot back to where our rental car was parked. We saw a small group of people gathered by a chain link fence. One person saw us coming and made a "shhhhh" motion with his finger. We get closer - and it turns out it's Pedro, talking on a cell phone, but also signing stuff, tossing everything back over a chainlink fence. Luckily, I had a ball that had a few other sigs on it from pre-game (including Johnny Pesky). And so over the fence it went - there was someone helping Pedro catch stuff, since he had his phone going, too. I wish it had been a clean ball, so it could have been only his signature, but what can you do. I took a few pictures and we continued on our way back to the car. (Picture of Gammons with Pedro and Nomar was earlier in the day.)
 

 

 

 
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
The only bad thing about Pedro was that every once in a blue moon he'd put up a stinker. Extremely rare but it DID happen occasionally. When it did it was totally stunning. It was like, oh my god, he's human. That's not supposed to be.

I got to see several Pedro games, one in the Bronx when Mussina beat him 2-1 in 2001. He was brilliant but Mussina was better that day.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
12,874
Maine
ivanvamp said:
The only bad thing about Pedro was that every once in a blue moon he'd put up a stinker. Extremely rare but it DID happen occasionally. When it did it was totally stunning. It was like, oh my god, he's human. That's not supposed to be.

I got to see several Pedro games, one in the Bronx when Mussina beat him 2-1 in 2001. He was brilliant but Mussina was better that day.
 
Yup.  My only experience seeing Pedro in person was just one of those stinkers.  June 5, 1998 against the Mets. He went just 4 innings, gave up 4 HRs and 6 runs overall.  Worst outing of the season for him. That was his third start of a four game stretch where he gave up 7, 4, 6, and 6 earned runs. He gave up 12 HR in 24 innings and his ERA ballooned by nearly two runs. I can only imagine the panic we might have seen here if the site had existed around that time...trade him, cut him, Duquette was foolish to give him that extension, blah blah blah. ;)
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
2,092
from the wilds of western ma
jscola85 said:
Best memory of Pedro has to be the 2000 Clemens duel for me, for so many reasons.  I was able to attend in person, as it came right after my birthday and I got tickets as a gift and made my first trip to the Old Toilet.  Trot Nixon was my favorite position player at that time, and he came up with the game-winning hit.  Clemens was in the midst of a bounceback season with the hated Yankees.  Pedro was at perhaps his absolute apex in 99-2000, and the duel between these two guys was just incredible.  Best non-playoff Red Sox game I have ever attended, and I will be hard-pressed to match that ever again.  10 combined Cy Young awards, all the bad blood flowing through the two teams at the time, just amazing stuff.  In a pre-DVR world, it became an ESPN "Instant Classic" and I was fortunate enough to be able to tape the replay, which I think I still have somewhere buried in a box with a bunch of old VHS tapes.
I posted about this game in the who do you miss most thread a couple of years back. Such a classic duel. Absolutely riveting. Also thinking back on an August 2004 10 k, complete game win against TB. He had gone from great to good by then, but for that one game he seemed every bit the 1999-2000 Pedro. I loved the guy. Loved his stuff, demeanor, nasty competive edge, all of it. Loved that he left on very strong performance against the cards in game 3. As I ended my post a couple of years ago, doubt we'll ever see his like again. Can't wait for his speech today. Think we'll see a few punchados.
 

Marbleheader

Dope
Dope
Sep 27, 2004
10,512
The worst thing wasn't the rare stinker, it was the pathetic run support. So many times he'd spin a gem and leave down 1-0, tied 1-1, etc.

I remember his first playoff start in 1998 that ended the ' Sox haven't won a playoff game since Game 5 in 1986' drought . I was so confident that day that Pedro was going to win. Never had that same confidence in Roger. They scored 3 in the top of the 1st and never looked back. The Red Sox finally had an ace.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
cornwalls@6 said:
I posted about this game in the who do you miss most thread a couple of years back. Such a classic duel. Absolutely riveting. Also thinking back on an August 2004 10 k, complete game win against TB. He had gone from great to good by then, but for that one game he seemed every bit the 1999-2000 Pedro. I loved the guy. Loved his stuff, demeanor, nasty competive edge, all of it. Loved that he left on very strong performance against the cards in game 3. As I ended my post a couple of years ago, doubt we'll ever see his like again. Can't wait for his speech today. Think we'll see a few punchados.
At his peak, he featured three of the best pitches in the game: his 99 mph fastball that just exploded, his unbelievable hard, knee-buckling curve, and his fall off the table change.

Only Randy Johnson's fastball was better than Pedro's. And I don't think anyone's curve or change was better than his.

He could throw any of them at any time anywhere he wanted.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 30, 2006
10,569
As a kid growing up playing baseball in eastern WA in the early 80's, pickings for favorite team/player were mighty slim. That was before Edgar, Junior, and baby ARod, so rooting for the M's was like rooting for head lice. Nice that it could get you out of school, but still....

Then we moved back east to central PA and 1986 happened. I was the only kid at my school to openly root for the Sox instead of the Mets, but my one grandpa who wached baseball every night had always been a fan of the Phillies, so joining in to support the Mets felt like a betrayal of the highest degree.

So I became a sort-of Sox fan for the World Series, but soon gave my allegiance back to the Mariners as their young talent exploded onto the scene. Not that it mattered too much, since the only games I could watch were the Braves on TBS. I listened every night to the Bonds-led Pirates instead, and was glad Wakefield ended up going to a team I was still fond of. Everything else was just box scores in the morning paper.

After a few years away from following baseball entirely, I started grad school at BU in the fall of 1998, and lived a block from Kenmore Square. The nights Pedro pitched were electric, with the Dominican flags and the face paint. And the crowd noise and palpable excitement. Wherever I found myself going on the nights he pitched, every eye within viewing distance of a TV would be riveted on every pitch.

Pedro's starts got me back into following baseball, which I've never lost the love of it since. And the will-he-or-won't-he drama of him throwing a no-hitter had me headed out to watch almost every one of his starts until 2000. I imagined it was like watching Picasso must be.

He was without doubt the best I've ever seen. And I'm green with envy at those of you who, in spring training or wherever, got to do more than worship from the farthest of afar.
 

minischwab

lurker
Aug 1, 2006
592
West Hartford, CT
I was in high school when Pedro arrived in Boston.  My father was (is) a season ticket holder, but he would sell games to 4 other guys back then.  So we'd go through the schedule in March and pick out games to attend, hoping we'd end up with as many Pedro starts as possible.  in 1999, the schedule broke right, and I saw 4-5 of his home starts in the Spring/early summer (plus the All-Star game).
 
This game was my favorite:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS199906040.shtml
 
IIRC Klesko's HR was a pesky pole job, barely hooked around the pole.  Aside from that, the Braves looked like they had no idea how to hit a baseball. 
 
Then he capped it with the 1999 ALCS Game 3, the 1st "Pedro-Roger" game which is the loudest I have heard Fenway Park in the 1st inning of a game to this day. Plenty of other great Pedro memories but those games stand out for ones that I attended.  Pedro-Roger Round 2 (Down Goes Zimmer!) also belongs on the list, but it wasn't the same.   
 

KenTremendous

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2006
525
Partridge, KS
jscola85 said:
Best memory of Pedro has to be the 2000 Clemens duel for me, for so many reasons.  I was able to attend in person, as it came right after my birthday and I got tickets as a gift and made my first trip to the Old Toilet.  Trot Nixon was my favorite position player at that time, and he came up with the game-winning hit.  Clemens was in the midst of a bounceback season with the hated Yankees.  Pedro was at perhaps his absolute apex in 99-2000, and the duel between these two guys was just incredible.  Best non-playoff Red Sox game I have ever attended, and I will be hard-pressed to match that ever again.  10 combined Cy Young awards, all the bad blood flowing through the two teams at the time, just amazing stuff.  In a pre-DVR world, it became an ESPN "Instant Classic" and I was fortunate enough to be able to tape the replay, which I think I still have somewhere buried in a box with a bunch of old VHS tapes.
I was sitting right behind home plate. In the 9th, after Nixon's homer, Pedro hit Knoblauch, then Jeter singled, and after he got O'Neill, Bernie hit a deeeeeeep fly ball to right field. It was flying directly away from me, and I was 100% sure it was a 3-run home run and the game was over and it was all for naught. Because that's what happened back then. We always lost that game.
 
Nixon caught it on the track.
 
It was still tense -- a stolen base, another HBP -- but when he got Tino to ground out and the Red Sox had actually won...that was the very first time I thought: "The Red Sox can win a World Series." It wouldn't happen for a while, obviously, but Pedro, for me, that day, single-handedly changed my understanding of what the team was capable of.
 

rajendra82

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
3,661
Atlanta, GA
The first Red Sox game I ever watched in person was this one in Atlanta, in which Pedro ended up on the losing end despite a great 8 inning effort.  Turner Field was pretty much filled with mostly Sox fans that day.
 

BrunanskysSlide

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 29, 2003
1,137
My favorite game at Fenway.  When I was going to a lot of Sox games, I feel like I always got a Wakefield or Arroyo.  Well, in 2004 I bought tickets for my Dad and I to take in a game on my birthday. We lucked out.  It was a Pedro game.
 
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200409030.shtml
 
Pedro was great.  We were riding a massive winning streak (10 games) 7IP   0ER  4H   9SO   1BB.  Close game with a HR by Manny and The Pro both off Way Back Wasdin.  Some ass hat ran on the field and got absolutely wrecked by Security.  We made it on to TV.  It was a great game to attend.