“The first time I saw Pedro Martinez pitch live was in his second start as an Expo. I remember little things about that night, like my girlfriend Lynn (we’re still together) going to say hello to her brother and his fiancé before the game down in the VIP Section. I stayed in our seats in Section 223, watching the images flashing up on the scoreboard, random shots from inside the Stadium. I got a charge when, all of the sudden, I saw Lynn up there on the screen. I remember the black and white checkered blouse she wore and the sceptical smile that appeared on her face when she saw herself up on the jumbo screen. I remember that we brought tin foil-wrapped sandwiches in a brown paper bag from the sausage place on Monkland Avenue to eat for dinner during the game; mine with sauerkraut, hers without. I remember still being a little angry that they’d traded Delino DeShields, my favourite player, for Pedro Martinez. I remember being won over by this skinny 22-year old, by his performance and by his guts. I was also 22 years old.
Martinez was perfect through seven and one-third innings when he hit Reggie Sanders with a pitch. Sanders, angered after being pitched to inside all night, charged the mound, even though no pitcher would ever hit a batter on purpose only five outs away from throwing a perfect game. Following the ensuing brawl, Martinez completed the eighth inning by retiring the next two batters. He lost his no-hit bid when he gave up a leadoff single to Brian Dorsett in the ninth, and he was relieved by John Wetteland. It was an amazing pitching performance, and one of many to come. Of course, I did not know at the time how great Pedro Martinez would turn out to be, but it sure is nice to close my eyes and see it again, the Hall of Famer as a young man.”
— Attended by Mark Paterson
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