YES Network.com

Top Nine Memorable Tino Martinez moments

Constantino Martinez spent just seven of his 16 MLB seasons in New York, playing first base from 1996-2001 and returning for a curtain call in 2005, but he almost immediately became one of the biggest fan favorites on a dynasty full of them.

A four-time World Champion and Pride of the Yankees Award winner already, Tino will take another step towards pinstriped immortality when his plaque in Monument Park is unveiled on June 21 - and ahead of that milestone, we look back, in chronological order, at nine great moments in his baseball life.

  • THE "BAM-TINO" IS BORN
    Team USA won the gold medal in baseball in the 1988 Olympics, and on a team full of future major leaguers, it was Martinez who shined the brightest. He capped a strong tournament by hitting two homers in the gold medal final, helping the Americans to a 5-3 win over reigning champion Japan.
  • A FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY
    Martinez's final year in Seattle included two notable Yankees moments: Tino was the man at first base when Derek Jeter got his first MLB hit on May 31, 1995, and he helped end Yankees predecessor Don Mattingly's career by hitting .409 with five RBI in an epic Division Series that October.
  • HOME RUN HISTORY
    Martinez won the Silver Slugger Award in 1997, and by winning that year's Home Run Derby in Cleveland as well, he earned a spot in a pretty good run of Derby lore, as he is the only man to win the Derby between 1991-2002 who doesn't have at least 350 career dingers (he has 339).
  • SAN DIEGO SLAMMER
    In the seventh inning of Game 1 of the 1998 World Series, Martinez, batting with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 5-5 score, came inches away from striking out on a close 2-2 pitch from San Diego's Mark Langston. The 3-2 wasn't so lucky, as Tino crushed it for what ended up a game-clinching grand slam.
  • DING-DONG…TRICK OR TREAT!
    Of all Tino's homers, none were as big as the one he smacked in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series. Down 3-1 in the game and one out away from going down 3-1 in the series, Tino hit a two-run shot off Byung-Hyun Kim that gave the Yanks life and set up Derek Jeter to become "Mr. November" a few innings later.
  • BELOVED EVEN AS AN ENEMY
    Yankees fans almost always treat past fan favorites to an ovation when they return to the Bronx in another uniform. But, to get cheered and even asked for a curtain call after hitting two home runs (off Andy Pettitte, no less) while with the Cardinals in 2003? Well, that's an honor only Tino could earn.
  • AN ENCORE FOR THE BAM-TINO
    The 2005 season was Martinez's last, and the "Bam-Tino" made one last appearance in May. Martinez homered in five consecutive games from May 7-11, and after breaking the streak on May 13, he homered once on the 14th and twice on the 15th to complete a run of eight dingers in eight games.
  • PROUD TO BE THE PRIDE
    The Pride of the Yankees Award, given annually during the Yankees' homecoming dinner, honors a former pinstriper who has made a lasting impact on the organization. In 1997, Martinez joined that group, being honored in the same year that Bobby Murcer won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • WHO YOU CALLIN' AN OLD-TIMER?
    These days, Tino is a fixture at Old-Timers' Day festivities, and in 2011, he got one last laugh on the short porch in Yankee Stadium, hitting a two-run homer for the game's only runs. David Cone, who gave up the homer, might tell you he grooved one in there, but it still counts!
YESNetwork.com comments