The Victor Martinez file

By Brian Fadem, correspondent

  • The 30-year-old Martinez was born on Dec. 23, 1978, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.
  • His father died of a heart attack when he was seven years old, leaving his mother to raise him and his three siblings.
  • Victor’s mother worked two nursing jobs, one in the mornings at one hospital and another a second hospital in the afternoons.
  • Growing up, Victor idolized Ozzie Guillen and played shortstop, just like his role model.
  • Indians scout Luis Aponte scouted Victor as a teen and signed him for $8,000 in 1996, when Victor was 17 years old. Victor also met his future wife, Margret, around the same time.
  • In 1996, Victor worked out at a Tribe training camp as a shortstop, but team decided to convert him to catcher because of his size.
  • He played in the Venezuelan Summer league on the Indians team — batting .344 in 53 games and garnishing plenty of attention from the organization.
  • Victor debuted in the United States in 1999 for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, where he caught CC Sabathia.
  • From 2000 until 2003 Victor bounced between minor league teams until June, when he was recalled and stayed on the Indians major league roster since. He made his major league debut on Sept. 10, 2002.
  • 2004 was his breakout year — he hit .283, with 23 HRs, 108 RBIs. He made the All-Star team.
  • On July 16, 2004 Martinez had his best game — going 5 for 5 with 3 HRs, and 7 RBIs.
  • Martinez has hit .331 with 7 HRs and 38 RBIs in 38 career regular season games vs. Boston.
  • He has hit .313 with 4 HRs and 19 RBIs in 17 regular season games at Fenway Park.
  • Before each game the Indians went through a ritual they called “Victor Time.” Martinez went to each starting player, looked into to each players eyes and gives a customized handshake.
  • He has said that he has never caught a knuckleball in his life, but would have been behind the plate if Tim Wakefield would have appeared in the All-Star Game earlier this month.
  • He had a bad year in 2008, hitting only .278 with 2 HRs. He had arthroscopic elbow surgery on June 13, 2008.
  • He returned this season healthy and was selected to his third All-Star Game (2004, 2007, 2009).
  • In the 2007 ALCS, he hit .296 with 1 HR and 3 RBIs against the Red Sox.
  • On July 13, 2009 he spoke to the media at the All-Star break and said that he would like to retire as an Indian.

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