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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Russell Martin officially retires from baseball

Russell Martin last played in 2019, in his second stint with the Dodgers, but on Saturday made official his retirement from baseball.

He made the announcement on Instagram, where he also announced his wife is expecting their third child in a few weeks.

The Dodgers drafted Martin in the 17th round in 2002, and hit the ground running once he made the majors in 2006. Martin made All-Star teams in 2007 and 2008 with Los Angeles, adding both a Gold Glove and Sliver Slugger in 2007.

Martin had an uncommon combination of power and speed as a catcher, including 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases in his second year with the Dodgers. He finished his career with 191 home runs and 101 steals.

He’s one of only 21 players to total both 60 home runs and 60 stolen bases with the Dodgers, and he’s the only catcher of the group.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:18 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: russell martin

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   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6078932)
Martin also co-holds (with Mike Christopher, 1991) the record for most innings pitched by a Dodger without allowing a run: four, all in 2019.
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 29, 2022 at 12:26 PM (#6078937)
Russell Martin was one of those players whom I always rooted for despite the fact that he never played for a team that I followed. Best of luck in his retirements, and congrats on the new child.
   3. Bob T Posted: May 29, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6078940)
he also announced his wife is expecting their third child in a few weeks.


Those fertility doctors can work wonders now.
   4. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: May 29, 2022 at 12:54 PM (#6078941)
I would also like to announce my retirement from professional baseball.

I never actually played, but at 40 I feel the time has come.
   5. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: May 29, 2022 at 03:04 PM (#6078950)
I would also like to announce my retirement from professional baseball.

I never actually played, but at 40 I feel the time has come.


I'm just saying, keep an eye out for calls from a Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Baltimore area code.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 29, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6078962)
I always liked him in his brief time with the Yankees, and his defensive prowess was often noted in the media.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6078978)
If the VC ever opens the door to Munson, Freehan and maybe 1-2 others, then Martin makes the HoVG. Also 1 career start at SS earns some cool points.

More career WAR than Josh Gibson! :-)
   8. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: May 29, 2022 at 05:06 PM (#6078986)
I saw Martin hit a walk off home run against the Giants in the 10th inning at this game. I originally bought tickets that day because I really wanted to see the Bonds - Maddux matchup. Figured it was two Hall of Famers going against each other…

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200608130.shtml

   9. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: May 29, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6078990)
Still remember his three run blast off of Andrew Bailey that helped send the Jays on their way to a division title for the first time in a generation
   10. baxter Posted: May 29, 2022 at 06:52 PM (#6078994)
What are the most steals by a catcher lifetime? Wathan had a few more (also think he holds season record); John Stearns a few less.
Bench had a year where he stole a number in a row, I think.
   11. Pirate Joe Posted: May 29, 2022 at 07:09 PM (#6078996)
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 29, 2022 at 07:14 PM (#6078997)
What are the most steals by a catcher lifetime?
Maybe Jason Kendall at 189?
   13. NaOH Posted: May 29, 2022 at 07:43 PM (#6079001)
Maybe Jason Kendall at 189?


Post-1920—aka, the live ball era—that's correct.

This is each position's stolen base leader
   14. baxter Posted: May 29, 2022 at 08:31 PM (#6079004)
12. Wow, Kendall was really something before he messed up his ankle, was it?
Of course, his father Fred appeared on an episode of "this is your life" with Dick Williams (I think), Sparky and Johnny Bench. Bench was the honoree and it is a surprise. So Ralph Edwards said who are we honoring, it could be the fine Padres catcher Fred Kendall.

But, back to Russell Martin; loved watching him while he was on Dodgers first time around.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2022 at 08:58 PM (#6079007)
The all-surname Martin (but not Martinez) team:

C -- Russell
1B/C -- JC
2B/mgr -- Billy
SS -- Norberto
3B -- Pepper
LF -- Al
CF -- Leonys (I thought he was gonna be a minor star)
RF -- Hersh
bench -- Jerry, Stu (made the 36 AS team as a rookie)
SP -- Morrie, Renie
RP -- Tom, Chris, various less memorable guys

The Martinez boys kick the crap out of the Martins.

EDIT: Looks like Russell is the greatest Martin (surname) of all-time. Am I forgetting a Martin (first) other than Marion (32 WAR, "MVP") that might give him a run for greatest Martin period?
   16. baxter Posted: May 29, 2022 at 10:48 PM (#6079015)
Martin Dihigo, to say nothing of Martin Milner
   17. sanny manguillen Posted: May 30, 2022 at 08:20 AM (#6079054)
12. Wow, Kendall was really something before he messed up his ankle, was it?


He came back from the ankle pretty well. He injured his hand early in 2001, still caught 157 games for a 100-loss team. He went from a "doubles power" guy to a slap hitter, and the power never came back.
   18. John Northey Posted: May 30, 2022 at 09:27 AM (#6079056)
Should've been nicknamed 'playoff' - Dodgers made the playoffs 3 of his first 5 years there after just 1 in 9 years before he came up; with the Yankees for 2 years won the AL East both years; Pirates for 2 years made the playoffs both years (first time since 1992); to the Jays and they made the playoffs for the first time since 1993 (twice); back to the Dodgers and they made the playoffs. 14 seasons in the majors, 10 seasons played in the playoffs but sadly never in a World Series. If only he got to play in 2020 with the Dodgers
   19. Rally Posted: May 30, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6079057)
I would also like to announce my retirement from professional baseball.

I never actually played, but at 40 I feel the time has come.


I’m 51, but keeping my options open. I’m not as old yet as Satchel was for his last game.
   20. Russ Posted: May 30, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6079065)
12. Wow, Kendall was really something before he messed up his ankle, was it?


He came back from the ankle pretty well. He injured his hand early in 2001, still caught 157 games for a 100-loss team. He went from a "doubles power" guy to a slap hitter, and the power never came back.


Exactly this, which is my #1 most used example of how the post 1979 Pirates are the absolute WORST organization in professional baseball. They ruined someone who was not guaranteed, but probably 30% likely to make the HOF and at least would have had a very illustrious career. Letting him play through the thumb injury was lawsuit-level negligence on their part.
   21. crict Posted: May 30, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6079069)
Russell is one of the best Canadian players ever, and has been a fantastic ambassador for the game in Quebec. We needed a universally-liked player like him after Eric Gagne was caught with PED.

It's also very cool that in 2010 he suddenly became Russell J. Martin or Russell Jeanson-Martin, to honor his mom, Suzanne Jeanson.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6079072)
Surely we've done an All-Canadian team.

SP: Fergie, Russ Ford, Ryan Dempster, Bedard/Harden (between the two we might get 25 starts)
RP: John Hiller, Gagne, Quantrill
C: Martin
1B: Votto
2B: Brett Lawrie
SS: Arthur Irwin
3B: Corey Koskie
LF: Jeff Heath
CF: Terry Puhl (314 career starts)
RF: Walker
bench: Morneau, Jason Bay, Tip O'Neill, Pete Ward, etc.

Heck of a bench. I wonder where that ranks aginst US state teams. And against the all-time Jays-Expos team
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 30, 2022 at 04:06 PM (#6079076)
Phil Marchildon would probably have made the rotation had his career not been derailed by his experiences in WW2. He served as a gunner on a Halifax bomber in the RCAF, and was shot down, spending a year in a POW camp. He initially pitched well after the war, but his experiences caught up with him. From his SABR bio:

“A fairly open, friendly enough person before the war, Marchildon came back a different, guarded man. As teammate George Kell said, “Phil really changed after his war experiences; he was very serious and rarely spoke about what he had gone through”… Trying to explain his frazzled nerves, (Marchildon) said, “on every mission I was tense as I scanned the skies looking for fighters who would attack at a moment’s notice. There was no time to relax once you were over enemy territory.””

"...The nerves that had been shaken by his war experiences caught up with him again and played havoc with his life and his baseball performance. At the beginning of the 1948 season Phil had a 5-2 record and felt that he would have another good year. Warming up one day with Buddy Rosar, he suddenly felt dizzy and numb; looking around the ballpark, he doubted that he belonged there. When he tried to throw another pitch, the ball felt like a lead weight, going barely twenty feet. Rosar ran up to Phil and asked if he was all right. Marchildon said he didn’t know, that he’d never felt that way before…He was a disappointing 9-15 that year. The next season was no better as he posted a dismal 0-3 record in seven games and a total of sixteen innings. At the end of spring training in 1950 he was sold to Buffalo of the International League. At Buffalo he lost five games and was released. Catching on with the Boston Red Sox, he was dropped after one bad relief appearance. He wound up his career in 1951 with Toronto of the International League and was released. Phil returned to his hometown in Canada utterly depressed, bitter about what the war had done to him psychologically and how it had shortened a promising career in baseball.”
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 30, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6079078)
Marchildon's 1948 record before that turning point game: 5-2, 3.20 ERA. After that, 4-13, 5.13. And for the rest of his career, 0-3, 11.42.

He did have a few dead cat bounces, however, including a September game where he pitched an 8 inning 3-hit shutout with an 82 game score. It was the last well pitched game of his career.

From his SABR bio, you can see where his trauma came from:
After his fine 1942 season he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. Marchildon could have stayed in Canada the entire war as a physical instructor but chose to become a gunner on a Halifax bomber. He was soon sent overseas as a tail gunner. His bomber crew had completed 25 missions over Germany and needed only five more missions to be sent home. On its 26th mission, on the night of August 17, 1944, a German fighter shot the plane down. Bailing out at fifteen thousand feet with another comrade, Marchildon floated to a splashdown in the Sea of Denmark 20 miles from shore. Swimming for four hours, they were constantly being pushed back from shore by the tide. Fully exhausted and ready to give up, they were saved by Danish fishermen The Danish fishing crew pulled Marchildon and his buddy out of the Kiel Canal. The Danish fishermen told them they would be safe with them and they would try to get them back safely to England. However, a German patrol was waiting for them when they got to shore, and the Danes had no choice but to turn them over. Marchildon later learned that the rest of the crew died in the crash.

Phil was sent to Stalag Luft III, the prison camp 105 miles southeast of Berlin that was made famous by the movie The Great Escape. There he lingered for almost nine months and lost 40 pounds from the meager diet of a few pieces of bread a day and some watered down soup the Germans fed him and his fellow prisoners of war. A guard told him that there was a cubic centimeter of wood in each loaf of bread. He said that if it were not for the occasional Red Cross package he might not have survived. In addition, he watched as some of his comrades were murdered for trivial offenses. One such occurrence was when some prisoners were playing a softball game and the ball landed between two barbed wire fences. Any prisoner who crossed over the first fence would be shot. One of the prisoners walked up to a German guard and politely said in German, “Don’t shoot, I am only going to retrieve the ball.” The guard nodded that it was all right, but the moment the prisoner stepped over the fence the guard shot and killed him. When the British liberated the prisoners, the German guard was pointed out, and the British shot him.

Marchildon was freed from his captors by a British patrol on May 2, 1945; one week later the war in Europe was over. Before his freedom he and his mates had been marched around Germany by the Nazis trying to avoid the oncoming Allied forces, especially the Russians. At one point Marchildon and his fellow prisoners of war were forced to march 130 miles in deep snow. ...
   25. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 01, 2022 at 11:50 PM (#6079468)
James Paxton had a nice run for a few years...would add depth to that iffy starting rotation.
   26. MNB Posted: June 02, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6079538)
And against the all-time Jays-Expos team


C: Gary Carter
1B: Fred McGriff
2B: Roberto Alomar
SS: Tony Fernandez
3B: Jose Bautista
RF: Vlad Guererro
CF: Andre Dawson
LF: Tim Raines
SP: Pedro, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, Mark Langston, Dave Stieb, Steve Rogers
RP: John Wetteland, Tom Henke, Jeff Reardon, Dennis Martinez?
Bench: Carlos Delgado, Tim Wallach, Larry Walker

Um, that's a pretty amazing team.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: June 02, 2022 at 09:30 PM (#6079586)
Um, that's a pretty amazing team.


That team's quite good, but I don't think Big Unit and Langston belong given how brief their tenures were in Montreal. Add El Presidente to the starting rotation and it's still pretty damn good.
   28. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 02, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6079648)
Tim Wallach is a much better choice at 3B. And as for RJ and Langston, if the criteria is anyone who ever played for the teams, the 1B is either Pete Rose or Frank Thomas.
   29. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 03, 2022 at 10:43 AM (#6079725)
@15
I thought of A's flop Richie Martin, but he wouldn't even make a team of players all named "Richie Martin."
   30. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 03, 2022 at 09:20 PM (#6079803)
Just a reminder that the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame has its induction ceremonies for both the 2020 and 2022 class in two weeks, on June 18th.
[Jeff] Francis will be honoured along with the Hall’s 2020 induction class, which consists of: Canadian slugger Justin Morneau, Toronto Blue Jays set-up man and closer Duane Ward and longtime Montreal Expos broadcaster Jacques Doucet.
John Olerud, the 2020 honoree (honouree?), couldn't make it, so he'll be honoured with the 2023 class.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: June 03, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6079808)
His bomber crew had completed 25 missions over Germany and needed only five more missions to be sent home.

this really hits home for me - especially right after Memorial Day.

I have mentioned that my father was a B-17 bombardier in WW II (possibly the most dangerous seat on the plane), flying missions from England to Germany and back.

on one mission, anti-aircraft fire badly damaged the plane - the co-pilot was KIA and the navigator was wounded. the crew was fortunate that the plane was able to limp back "home" to England.

for reasons I don't understand, the online log of the flight - which offers few details - notes that "Sgt. [Howie's father] removed Lt. [KIA] from the cockpit." that matters because?

one other thing: I noticed in my research that Dad had a change of bosses, as it were, midway through his missions. I asked him why, and he matter-of-factly said that why, they were running out of surviving personnel so they merged some of the crews. struck him as eminently practical.

as it happened, most of his new crew hit their 35th and final mission to allow them to go home simultaneously. but Dad - acquired in midseason, as it were - only had 33 missions. he once said in total seriousness that he insisted that he be permitted to fly the two missions that he "owed." more than 60 years later, he still seemed a little frustrated.

am pretty damn thankful they ignored him, let's put it that way - a saga like that can make you wonder how close you came to not ever existing. a little bit of a mindfock there.

then he came home, got married - and started a 40-year career with FDNY. he once told me he was amazed that in his years as a battalion chief, of all the firefighters he had to send into burning buildings in that span, he never lost a man.

but enough about Canada, eh?

RIP, Phil Marchildon, RIP. there but for the grace of God....

ok a slightly lighter note: I got Dad to show up a local airport at age 90, as they were offering tours of a vintage B-17. he was intrigued, and memories flooded back.

coincidentally, I crossed paths with former NJ Gov. Brendan Byrne just days later, and I knew he also flew in a B-17 in WW II. I mentioned that it was a shame we couldn't go on the day they took vets on short flights in the plane.

he said he had done that on a 'prohibited' day, and I asked how that was possible.

"I just told them, 'Hello, I'm Governor Byrne - and off we went," he replied.
   32. MNB Posted: June 04, 2022 at 08:37 AM (#6079830)
That team's quite good, but I don't think Big Unit and Langston belong given how brief their tenures were in Montreal. Add El Presidente to the starting rotation and it's still pretty damn good.


I also totally forgot that Clemens pitched for the Blue Jays.

And I forgot about Olerud.
   33. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: June 04, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6079837)
Via con Dios, Bodie, I enjoyed you as a Yankee and congrats on the new one on the way.

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