Dennis Martinez

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BIOGRAPHY

José Dennis Martínez Ortíz (born May 14, 1954), nicknamed "El Presidente" (The President), is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the first Nicaraguan baseball player (pitcher or position player) to play in the majors.



Playing career
Martínez pitched for the Baltimore Orioles (1976–1986), Montreal Expos (1986–1993), Cleveland Indians (1994–1996), Seattle Mariners (1997) and Atlanta Braves (1998).

During a 23-year baseball career, Martínez compiled 245 wins, 2,149 strikeouts, and a 3.70 earned run average. During his tenure with the Orioles, he won a World Series with them in 1983 (although he was not on their roster for the series, he did receive a World Series ring). On July 28, 1991, Martínez pitched the thirteenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, pitching for the Montreal Expos against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the first Latin American-born pitcher to pitch a perfect game.

On September 28, 1993, Martinez won his 100th game for the Expos, becoming one of nine major league pitchers ever with at least 100 wins in both the American and National leagues. Others to do that are Jim Bunning, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Orth, Gaylord Perry, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Cy Young.

Martínez has the most career victories of any pitcher who has never won 20 games in a single season. Milt Pappas, Jerry Reuss, Frank Tanana, Charlie Hough, Chuck Finley, Kenny Rogers, and Tim Wakefield are the only other pitchers with at least 200 career victories who have done so. (Of these, Pappas, Reuss and Rogers had pitched no-hitters, with Rogers' also being a perfect game, three years to the day of Martínez's.)

During Martinez' time with the Expos, a variation of the Montreal hot dog topped with cheese and bacon called the Denny Dog was sold at Olympic Stadium.

He has the record for most wins by a Latin American pitcher with 245.

Martinez is one of only 17 pitchers in MLB history to start on Opening Day more than 10 times, having done it 11 times.



Post-playing career
Martinez has worked as a spring training instructor for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and 2006, and pitching coach for the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League.

On November 5, 2012, the Houston Astros finalized their coaching staff for the 2013 season, naming Martínez as their new bullpen coach. He was fired on October 1, 2013.

Martinez also is manager of the Nicaragua national baseball team, and managed during the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifying Tournament. The national baseball park in Managua (Nicaragua's capital city), Dennis Martínez National Stadium, was named in his honor.

Martinez runs his own organization, The Dennis Martínez Foundation, to help poor children around the world.

In 2016, Martinez was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Highlights

  • 4-time All-Star (1990–1992, 1995)
  • Twice Top 10 Cy Young Award (1981, 1991)
  • Led league in wins (1981)
  • Led league in ERA (1991)
  • Led league in shutouts (1991)
  • 6-time Top 10 in shutouts (1979, 1981, 1990, 1994–1996)
  • Led league in games started, innings pitched and batters faced (1979)
  • 9-time pitched 220 or more innings in a season (1978–1979, 1982, 1988–1993)
  • 3-time oldest player in the majors (1996–1998)
  • 60th on the strikeouts all-time list
  • Set record for most wins by a Latin American pitcher (244 – August 9, 1998)
  • Pitched the 13th perfect game in baseball history (July 28, 1991) with the Montreal Expos.

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