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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Martinez comes in all shapes, sizes

Larry LaRue Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – The serious Edgar Martinez collector could have a room full of goodies if all he’d grabbed were Seattle Mariners giveaways over the years.

Since his major league debut in 1988, Martinez has graced programs and pocket schedules, photo balls and banks, lunch boxes and T-shirts.

“I’ve been on a lot of stuff,” Martinez said Saturday. “I’m sure I was excited the first time it happened.”

And what was it the first time?

“I don’t remember,” Martinez admitted. “I’m terrible at things like that.”

On Tuesday, Martinez’memorabilia collection will expand, with the first 15,000 fans at Safeco Field getting and Edgar Martinez Nesting Doll – a series of three dolls within a doll, all featuring you-know-who.

The kicker? As each doll is revealed, Martinez gets younger. “I kind of like that,” Martinez said.

In August, the Mariners will have another giveaway – an Edgar Martinez Teddy Bear.

“I’ve heard about that one,” Martinez said. “A stuffed animal with my face on it. I don’t know how that’ll look.”

Not everything Martinez has been honored with thrilled him. A few years ago, for instance, there was the Edgar Martinez bank, a short, squat figure with fat legs. Martinez still shakes his head when asked about that.

“I didn’t look like me,” he said. “Neither did the bobblehead doll, but they never look like anybody.”

Which giveaway did he like best? Probably “The Swing,” an action figure showing Martinez’s swing from the 1995 postseason series – New York vs. Seattle.

“I liked that, it looked like my swing and it sort of looked like me,” Martinez said.

Last year, Martinez craze took an odd turn, even given the nature of sports promotions.

“That duck!” Martinez said, still chagrined. “I mean, a duck? I never saw myself as a duck. I don’t even know if I kept one of those.”

Martinez as a rubber duck was a popular giveaway, and the duck made numerous appearances on eBay, the online auction company.

“I’ve signed most of the things over the years, and I’ve even signed that duck,” Martinez said.


Given a day to mix and match their rotation, the Mariners came up with this for the four-game series with Texas that begins at Safeco Field on Monday night: Ryan Franklin, Joel Pineiro, Clint Nageotte and Freddy Garcia. … Reports that the Mariners had offered pitcher Gil Meche to Detroit for Brandon Inge – an athletic player who’s caught, played the infield and outfield – were correct, but late. Those trade talks weren’t recent – they came during Seattle’s visit to Detroit on May 1. The deal was floated but never close to consummation. … Add Martinez: The cramp in his left calf at the end of the game Friday became a small knot by Saturday, but Martinez was in the lineup. “We have to monitor it, but Edgar knows how to play with things like this,” manager Bob Melvin said.