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Pedro Martinez: Members of Phillies Had Swine Flu During 2009 World Series

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 04: Former Phillies player and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez throws out the first pitch during a pre-game ceremony celebrating the 2009 Nation League Champion Philadelphia Phillies before their game against the Chicago White Sox at Citizens Bank Park on August 4, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez said members of the 2009 club were dealing with swine flu during the World Series.

"It wasn't told, but most of us were sick," Martinez said, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Some of the guys had swine flu and had to be kept away. I caught some of the virus. We would just never say it. When I got home, I realized that I was really sick."

Martinez, who had just turned 38 at the time, said he was able to pitch Game 2 without problems but struggled in his second appearance in the series, which saw him last only four innings in Game 6:

"I had a little bit of an asthma attack in the middle of the game, and I was having a hard time breathing. I was really sick. In any other situation, I wouldn't be out there. But the team needed me. I held on as long as I could, and I did that. I was really proud to have my last game with the Phillies at Yankee Stadium."

The New York Yankees defeated the Phillies in six games to win their 27th World Series championship. Martinezβ€”who played much of his career with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and New York Metsβ€”only played the 2009 season in Philadelphia, making nine regular-season starts and three postseason starts before calling it a Hall of Fame career.

He said he planned on returning to Philadelphia for the 2010 season but never received an offer from the Phillies, who went in another direction with their roster.

"I made a mistake by kicking everybody aside and waiting for this team, and then it didn't happen I was told by [Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.] that they were going to go after me, so I told the other teams 'No. Wait,'"Β Martinez said. "The call never came. I had three teams in mind, or else I wasn't going to go. Philadelphia was No. 1."

The 2009 swine flu pandemic swept the country throughout the year and much of 2010. But it was not known until this time that any members of the Phillies had it.