Pedro Martinez on Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Induction: 'Extremely Honored'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 01:  Former Montreal Expos pitcher Pedro Martinez thanks the fans during the MLB spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox at Olympic Stadium on April 1, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Four years after he was inducted, pitching legend Pedro Martinez finally got to savor his entry into the Canadian Baseball of Fame.

The former Montreal Expos ace was among those honored at Saturday's ceremony.

"I'm extremely honored to have the opportunity to be recognized," Martinez told B/R Walk-Off. "It's unfortunate that Montreal doesn't have a team to actually brag about having one of their members going to the Hall of Fame. It's just as big of an honor as it was [to be inducted] in the United States and the Dominican Republic as well."

The 50-year-old only spent four seasons with the Expos, but he made quite the impact during his time north of the border. He was a two-time All-Star who went 53-33 with a 3.06 ERA in 118 appearances.

Martinez's first year with the Expos in 1994, when he was part of a stacked roster that combined for one of the bigger what-ifs in recent MLB history. Montreal, which had Martinez, Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd and Larry Walker, got off to a 74-40 start before a strike wiped out the World Series.

"I didn't expect to have the atmosphere we had," Martinez said. "It's hard to describe how passionate and supportive the fans were. It's really unfortunate that the [1994] strike happened and we could not brag today about winning the World Series. We lost all the fans after that. I'm so looking forward to seeing Montreal get another team."

The 1994 squad was dismantled piece by piece. Martinez was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. ahead of the 1998 season.

The three-time Cy Young winner continues to have a soft spot for Montreal:

"I'm still as passionate about Montreal and Canada as I am to Boston and the Dominican Republic. It was a mutual respect and love and admiration for each other. I never played in a safer city than Montreal. I love everywhere I played, but Montreal was the safest and easiest going city that I played for. I'm so glad I was able to be embraced by the fans and people. I'm still really well-respected in Canada, all over. A lot more people remember me than I ever thought. I really enjoyed my time here in Canada."

The Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays played a pair of spring training games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal in 2016, which allowed Martinez to enjoy his old stomping grounds one more time.