Today at Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners announced they would retire the number 11, previously worn by team legend Edgar Martinez.
"“Edgar Martinez is the string that binds together our franchise history,” Team President Kevin Mather said. “As we embark on our 40th anniversary season in 2017, Edgar has been in a Mariners Major League uniform for 20 of those seasons, all proudly wearing No. 11, and has been a part of our organization for 36 years. He has worn a Seattle uniform in parts of four decades [the ’80s, ’90s, 2000s and the 2010s], and today’s announcement will assure that his number will be proudly displayed in Safeco Field forever.”"
Martinez will become just the second Mariner to have his number be retired by the franchise. He will be joining MLB Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr.
"“That will be special to see,” Martinez said. “My number will be next to Junior’s, one of the greatest players to play the game. His Hall of Fame voting showed that. Also next to the great Jackie Robinson. That’s amazing. It’s something I would never expect, looking back at my career. It will be a reminder of how lucky I am to have been able to play this game.”"
The team’s policy on retiring numbers is for former Mariners who either have been elected to the Hall of Fame and spent at least five years in a Mariners uniform or if said player came close to Hall of Fame enshrinement and spent a substantial portion of their career with the Mariners.
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Edgar finished just 73 votes shy of being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mather was joined by Martinez, General Manager Jerry Dipoto Manager Scott Servais. Long-time teammate and friend, Jay Buhner was also at the announcement.
"“That’s why they’re hanging his number next to Junior’s and Jackie’s and why he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame. Because he’s all about work,” Buhner said. “In order to get something, you have to put in the blood, sweat and tears. He continues to do that and always will. That’s just his personality”."
The ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 12th, and is a part of an “Edgar Martinez Weekend”.
He was quick to thank his family first, followed by former Manager Lou Pinella and his teammates. He also thanked the ” greatest fans in all of baseball.”