Newark Bears Autographs: Edgar Martinez
I haven’t managed to add any 2013 baseball cards to my collection yet, though just about every baseball card blogger has been busy showing off their finds over the past couple of days. (Yes, I’m just a little bit jealous 🙂 )
Fortunately, Zach of Autographed Cards sent me a few cards this week. Let’s take a look at one of them.
Edgar Martinez was one of approximately seven dozen players to suit up for the Newark Bears in 2009, their final year in the Atlantic League. Between the constant roster churn and the difficulty of finding cards that might belong to this Edgar Martinez among all of those featuring the more famous Seattle Mariners designated hitter, I never tracked down a baseball card to get signed that year.
Since leaving the Bears, Martinez pitched for the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings in the North American League, the Wichita Wingnuts in the American Association and the Petroleros de Minatitlan in the Mexican League. I assume Zach got the card signed last year when Martinez was playing for Wichita.
Once upon a time, Martinez was viewed as a prospect: he pitched in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game for the World Team and was protected on the Boston Red Sox 40-man roster from 2005-07. In 2005, he averaged better than a strikeout per inning as a reliever for the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks and Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. But at the higher levels of the minor leagues, Martinez was less able to dominate hitters.
In 2009, Martinez found himself entering the world of independent baseball with the Newark Bears. He made 12 starts, tied for fifth most on a team that had 27 different pitchers start at least one game. He finished with a 1-3 record, a 6.09 ERA and had more walks (30) than strikeouts (20) for the first time in his career in his only season as a full-time starter. He also appeared in two games at second base and one at shortstop, and had two hits in seven at-bats.
Do you have any memories of Edgar Martinez or the 2009 Newark Bears’ strange season?