Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thanks For The Memories, Pedro

We all know this has been a lost season for the Red Sox, and the less said and written about this on-going travesty, the better.

Today, before many thousands of fans at Cooperstown, NY, Pedro Martinez will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz. All four men are indeed worthy of induction.

The festivities will be broadcast on MLB Network at 1:30 PM today. I will be watching, and listening to what should be an entertaining speech Pedro is sure to give.

Pedro will also have his number 45 retired by the Red Sox this coming Tuesday night before the game at Fenway with the White Sox. That is sure to be fun as well.

Fans have been posting their favorite Pedro moments and games on Facebook over the course of the last few days. I had the pleasure to be at Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS at Fenway, where Pedro beat the Yankees and Roger Clemens, 12-1. He was simply dominant that night, and it being a postseason game, meant so much more. That is my favorite memory of him with me being in the building.

But my favorite of all is what I call the best pitched game I have ever seen.

On September 10, 1999, Pedro and the Sox faces New York at Yankee Stadium. The Sox were still in the race for the AL east title, trailing the Yankees by 6 1/2 games with 21 to go. Pedro hit Chuck Knoblauch, the first batter, and he was caught stealing. In the second inning, Chili Davis hit a shot into the right field bleachers to make it 1-0 New York.

Little did anyone realize that Davis would be the last Yankee to reach base.

Mike Stanley hit a two-run homer in the 6th, and Jose Offerman had an RBI single in the ninth to give Pedro all the offensive support he'd need.

In the bottom of the fourth, Bernie Williams grounded out to third. Of the remaining 15 batters Pedro faced, 12 would strike out, 2 would foul out, and Scott Brosius will lead off the sixth by flying out to left. That was the last fair ball the Yankees would hit in that game.

It was sheer dominance. Seeing the Dominican fans in the Yankee Stadium bleachers putting up Ks and rooting Pedro and the Sox home to victory was simply surreal. Pedro was knocking down the Yankees like bowling pins, and they had their "A" team out there that night. (And would win the World Series the following month.)

It still is the best game I have ever seen (and I saw it on TV; wish I could have been there live).

Congratulations to Pedro on the well-earned trip to immortality today.

Here are the edited highlights from that night. Enjoy.

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