Just in time for the New Year, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Seven list takes a look at some of the strangest characters in Mets franchise history, as we begin the countdown with Pedro Martinez, seventh on our list of offbeat personalities.
When Pedro Martinez retired from Major League Baseball in 2009, he left the game with a World Series ring, 219 wins, 17 shutouts and over 3000 strikeouts. That's not all he'll be remembered for however, as Pedro was one of the most unique personalities the game, as well as the New York Mets franchise, had ever experienced.
Pedro was known throughout his career as being very candid, offering some brutally honest quotes during his interactions with the media, from the famous "Just tip my cap and call the Yankees my daddy." quote to this gem when the Mets signed Jose Lima:
"Get out of here. Really, we signed him? Oh no, Mama Mia, things are going to go crazy over here. This is going to be a crazy clubhouse.”
A Met from 2005 to 2008, most of Pedro's most memorable off -the -field moments occurred during his years in Boston, where he was one of the "idiots" during the franchise's rise back to prominence in the early 2000's. He introduced the world to Nelson De La Rosa, his midget friend, who became something of Pedro's personal mascot throughout the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
It hasn't been all fun and games however, as Pedro's left of center personality brought some negative light to his character, as he was spotted at a cockfight in his native Dominican Republic. Cockfighting is a popular – and legal – activity in the DR and Pedro, along with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, were honorary "soltadores," or the people who release the birds into the ring.
Pedro's passion for the game may have been best exemplified with this final quote, when asked about his behavior while on the mound, Pedro said “I just try to do what I have to do and let the people out there do what they have to do, which is have fun, scream, yell and jump around. I try to do what I have to do, which is play baseball, and I can only play in that piece of area there, so that's what I try to do.”
Check back tomorrow as Mets 101 continues our countdown of the Seven most offbeat personalities in New York Mets history!
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