In Behind the Ink, we’re going to highlight the different signatures of current, past, and even possible future player for the Boston Red Sox and we’ll share some stories, collections, and memories along the way. I could think of no better place than to start this blog than with one of the best.
He’s one of the greatest, if not THE greatest pitchers to ever put on the home whites. He goes by one name in Boston, and if someone doesn’t know who you mean when you talk about “Pedro”, then they must have just moved here. He entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, but they should have skipped the 5 year waiting period back in 2010 when he retired. He was the most dominant pitcher in a time when muscle-bound PED monsters roamed the batter’s box and hit 60 HR’s a season. He struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell in his 2 innings of work in the 1999 All-Star game. His signature is almost as elegant as his changeup. It has a smooth delivery like just before a 97 MPH Fastball. Pedro applies a bold stroke with pinpoint command of the pen.
Pedro is one of the few who actually takes his time with his signature. You may not be able to make out every letter, but the “P-d-o” and “M-t-z” are easy to spot. Pedro almost always throws in his “#45” at the end, and some people are lucky enough to have other inscriptions like “3X CY YOUNG”, “3,154 K’S”, or my new favorite “HOF 15”. The “P” “t” and “z” are all pretty unique and help spot a real vs a fake, and after so many years signing, he’s consistent with his signature as well.
The first time I ever got Pedro Martinez’s autograph was way back in 2001 (I was 14 at the time) at the Second Annual Nomar Bowl in Malden, MA. It was a charity event at a local bowling alley where all kinds of Boston celebs and sports stars got together to bowl a few frames, and raise some money. This year happened to be the year where my father knew the Malden Police Officer who was stationed at the door. Well after all the stars had shown up and most of the fans outside had left, my father and I were ushered into a side door and told to “not get caught”. After being star struck by everyone in attendance, I noticed a large crowd around the shoe rental counter. Pedro was behind the counter with a person on each side taking items from the crowd, handing them to Pedro, and then handing them back to the lucky person in the crowd. I was able to squeeze my way to the front and got a baseball signed (though not the one pictured above).
Another time I met Mr Martinez was down in Fort Myers in 2014. Pedro is a special assistant to the GM of the Red Sox, so he sometimes will pop in and out during Spring Training. There was one day he decided to stop and sign for a bunch of fans, so I was lucky enough to get him on a 2004 Red Sox hat. The signature looks just as good in silver sharpie as it does in pen ink.
That’s our Sox Signature of the Week! Be sure to comment with your stories about meeting Pedro and show off any autographs you got of him!