The Lad has been reporting on the baseball world for more than three decades.
For his latest installment, we look at one of the game’s most recognizable players.
A former first-round pick, outfielder J.D. Martinez became a household name when he broke the single-season home run record in the late 1990s.
Martinez is still one of baseball’s most successful players and is still the league’s all-time leader in RBIs.
He was a star in Atlanta in his rookie year, when he hit 18 home runs, leading the team to the AL East title and a spot in the World Series.
But Martinez was plagued by injuries throughout his career.
In his first year in Atlanta, he missed five games with a fractured left wrist.
The wrist was repaired, but Martinez’s career ended in 2000 when he was released by the Braves.
In 2002, he became a free agent after a contract dispute with the Red Sox.
He spent three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, and in 2004 he signed with the Boston Red Sox, where he spent the next four seasons.
Martinez hit at least 100 home runs in all of those seasons, hitting .297.
He also posted a .348 on-base percentage and hit over .300 with six home runs.
Mart Martinez was the Braves’ MVP in 2005 and 2006.
He had the highest batting average of his career in 2006, and he finished fourth in the MVP voting.
Martell was traded to the Red Wings in 2007.
In the following season, Martinez became one of Major League Baseball’s most dominant players, finishing second in the league in home runs with 127.
He was also the MVP of the 2007 AL All-Star Game.
Martello went on to win two World Series titles with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays.
In 2010, he hit .288 with 27 home runs and 109 RBIs for the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of two finalists for the Hank Aaron Award.
In 2011, he won the American League MVP Award for his performance in his first full season with the Lightning.
In 2012, Martinez made the Hall of Fame with a record-setting season.
He led the league with an .857 OPS, finished second in batting average (.332), third in home run percentage (.400), home runs (58), RBIs (222), slugging percentage (.538) and batting average (239).
In his career, he has batted at least .300 each of the last three seasons, including .305 this year.
Martillo retired after the 2013 season.