Dave Martinez is now the skipper of the Washington Nationals, but as a player he made a brief stop as a Blue Jay back in 2000.
We’re down to the final two teams for the 2019 season, and the World Series has the Houston Astros pitted against the Washington Nationals.
The Astros have been there before, but for the Nationals, playing in the fall classic is something this group has been just shy of for a few years now. For guys like Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Ryan Zimmerman, it’s the payoff they’ve been working to achieve for years.
Behind the bench if a relatively new skipper for the Nationals, but not exactly someone who is unfamiliar with the world of Major League Baseball. Dave Martinez has helped push the Nationals from several early playoff exits into a team that is just three wins away from a World Series championship. And since there isn’t much going on in the world of the Blue Jays right now, I thought it might be fun to look back at his brief time spent as a player in Toronto.
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It was back in 2000 when Dave Martinez joined the Blue Jays for 47 games, joining a team put together by then-GM, Gord Ash, featuring guys like Carlos Delgado, Raul Mondesi, Tony Batista, David Wells, and many more. There were hopes that they could make a push for a playoff spot that season, which I assume is why they acquired the veteran outfielder. They fell short of qualifying for the postseason that year though, finishing with a record of 83-79.
Martinez actually played very well during his brief stint as a blue bird, slashing .311/.393/.411 in 206 plate appearances, adding two home runs, 10 doubles, and 22 RBI at the age of 35. He ended up moving on to Atlanta to play for the Braves in 2001, which turned out to be his final season as a player.
Martinez’s trade to the Blue Jays was a notable one, especially because it broke a record at the time. The veteran started the season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (that was their name at the time) and played 29 games with them before he was dealt to the Cubs. He played just 18 games in Chicago before he was traded a second time, landing in with the Texas Rangers. Last but not least, Martinez was traded a third time to Toronto for a player to be named later, tying the MLB record by playing for four different teams in a season. That player to be named later ended up being Peter Munro, in case you were wondering.
He wasn’t in Toronto for long, but I certainly remember the positive impact he made on the Blue Jays during that 2000 season, and it’s great to see him succeeding in a new role at the highest level.