Former major league catcher Russell Martin will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame along with five others at a ceremony scheduled for June 15 in St. Mary's, Ontario.
The one who spent his youth in Montreal played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006 to 2010 before landing with the New York Yankees. He then wore the colors of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays and ended his career in a Dodgers jersey in 2019.
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Martin played 14 seasons in the major leagues, winning a Gold Glove and a Silver Bat.
“When I heard the news, my first thought was, 'Russ, you're getting old!' At that time, I considered it an honor to be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame along with other great players. I never played baseball to receive awards and accolades, but this is really something special,” said the concerned principal in a press release.
A thought for his father
Via video conference, Martin recalled his first moments in baseball and thanked the man who made it possible for him to fall in love with baseball.
“It starts with my father,” he said. Grew up in NDG [Notre-Dame-de-Grâce]During the summer I went to the baseball field almost every day. My father was my coach until I was 14 or 15 years old. I am eternally grateful to him. Without him I would never have been able to do what I did.”
The now 40-year-old totaled 191 home runs and 771 RBIs in 1,693 regular-season games, maintaining a .248 batting average. He reached the plateau of 20 long balls three times. For the Canadians, he ranks sixth in history with 1,416 goals and leads his compatriots in the number of playoff games (58).
Martin was originally selected by the Montreal Expos in the 35th round of the 2000 auction, but never played for his provincial organization. He was selected again, this time by the Dodgers, in the 17th round of the 2002 draft.
Additionally, Martin will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown next year.
The other members of Temple's 2024 class include ex-Jays shooting guard Jimmy Key, former Toronto club president and CEO Paul Godfrey, umpire Howard Birnie, pitcher Rod Heisler and player and coach Ashley Stephenson.