Russell Martin: Wikis

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Russell Martin

Los Angeles Dodgers — No. 55
Catcher
Born: February 15, 1983 (1983-02-15) (age 27)
East York, Ontario
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 5, 2006 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .276
Home runs     49
Runs batted in     274
Stolen bases     60
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr. (born February 15, 1983, in East York, Ontario) is a Canadian Major League Baseball catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.[1]

Contents

Early life

Martin was born in East York, Ontario (in the east end of Toronto).[2] He grew up in Chelsea, Quebec, Canada and lived in Paris, France from the age of 8-10.[1] Martin has an African Canadian father, Russell Martin Sr., and a white, French Canadian mother, singer and actress, Suzanne Jeanson. His parents separated when he was only two years old.[3] "I don't really remember when my parents separated, and it's probably better that way because I know kids these days go through some tough times," says Martin. His father used to play saxophone in Montreal subway stations to help pay for his baseball training.[3] Along with playing baseball in the Montreal neighborhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Martin played hockey for N.D.G Minor Hockey, where glimpses of his future all-star athleticism could be seen. He graduated from Polyvalente Édouard-Montpetit High School, which was the same high school attended by teammate Éric Gagné.[3] After graduating from high school, Martin took a junior college scholarship at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida.[1]

Playing career

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Minor leagues

In 2002, Martin was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round.[3] Martin was originally a third baseman before switching to catcher after a scout saw him playing for the Gulf Coast Dodgers in Rookie Ball and thought he showed more promise in that position.[3][4] Martin was a Florida State League All-Star catcher while with the Vero Beach Dodgers in 2004 and Baseball America 2nd Team Minor League All-Star and Southern League All-Star while with the Jacksonville Suns in 2004.

Major leagues

On May 5, 2006, Martin was called up to the Dodgers after a wrist injury landed the starting catcher Dioner Navarro on the disabled list.[4] He got two hits (including a double) in the game. His first hit was against Chris Capuano. On May 7, he hit his first major league home run against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Dave Bush. On June 6, 2006, Martin and Éric Gagné made baseball history by becoming the first French Canadian battery in the majors.[5] Martin's play was good enough that, on June 26, 2006, Navarro was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[4][6] On August 13, 2006, Martin hit his first career walk-off home run in a victory that completed a sweep of the rival San Francisco Giants.[7] On September 18, 2006, Martin hit a solo home run off of Trevor Hoffman, the third of four consecutive home runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the San Diego Padres, it was the first time four home runs have been hit in a row since the 1964 Minnesota Twins.[8]

Martin has excelled since taking over the starting catcher's job. He has an above average batting average, but is fast enough to steal bases, a rarity for a catcher.[9] On April 21, 2007, Martin hit a walk-off grand slam against Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Shawn Chacon in the bottom of the 10th inning. This was the first grand slam of his career.[10]

Martin in spring 2007.

In May 2007, Martin made his debut on the National League All-Star Game ballot at fourth place, despite leading National League catchers in most offensive categories and matching or exceeding ballot rivals in defense.[11] By June 26, he had made up a 140,100 vote deficit from ballot-leading Paul Lo Duca, the Dodgers' former catcher then playing for the Mets, also formerly with the Washington Nationals, and now in the Florida Marlins organization with a minor league contract. Lo Duca had been 214,114 votes ahead of him.[4][12] That same month he broke the Dodgers' franchise record for single-season steals by a catcher (12) set by John Roseboro in 1962.[13] On July 1 it was announced that Martin finished in first place in All-Star Game voting, leading Lo Duca by 296,948 votes. He became the first ever Canadian born catcher to start the All-Star Game.[14]

At the end of the 2007 season, he was awarded with the National League Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger award.[15][16]

Martin with the Dodgers in 2008.

On May 2, 2008, Martin started his first game at third base since reaching the Majors, allowing veteran backup Gary Bennett to spell Martin behind the plate.[17] Martin made his second all-star game during the 2008 season.[18] He caught 10 innings of a 15 inning game in which the American League won 4 to 3.[19] Martin's 10 innings caught are tied for fourth place all time among all star catchers in a single game.

On January 20, 2009, Martin signed a one-year, $3.9 million contract to avoid salary arbitration. The deal was the largest ever awarded to a catcher in his first year of arbitration.[20] He played for the Canadian team during the 2009 World Baseball Classic and then rejoined the Dodgers. He slumped offensively in 2009, hitting only .250 with 7 home runs in 143 games, the weakest totals in his four year career.

On March 7, 2010, it was diagnosed that Martin has a pulled groin, and will miss 4 to 6 weeks, meaning he will miss the rest of spring training and opening day.[21]

Personal life

Martin's full name is Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr. Russell is from his father (Russell Martin Sr.), Nathan is from his great-grandfather, Jeanson is the maiden name of his mother (Suzanne), and Coltrane is also from his dad to pay homage to John Coltrane (jazz saxophonist).[4]

Martin's entrance theme is "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry although lately he has been coming out to "Nas Is Like" by Nas.[22] Martin changed the name printed on his jersey to "J. Martin" for the 2009 season in reference to one of his middle names "Jeanson", in honor of his mother.[23]

Martin is currently dating former French-Canadian model, Marikym Hervieux. They live together in Hermosa Beach.[24]

In an effort to quit the use of smokeless tobacco, Martin began wearing a custom-fitted mouthpiece during the 2009 World Baseball Classic and Spring Training.[25]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: Team: Player Information". MLB.com. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=431145. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  2. ^ "Russell Martin MLB Baseball profile". Sportsline. http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/483767. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Kelly, Cathal (2007-06-09). "Catching the fast train to L.A. - Montreal resident Martin solid behind plate for Dodgers". The Star. http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/223500. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Russell Martin achieves stardom in second big-league season". Sporting News. 2007-06-14. http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?p=2093845. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  5. ^ "Mets vs. Dodgers - Box Score - June 6, 2006". ESPN. 2006-06-06. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=260606119. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  6. ^ "ESPN - Dioner Navarro Stats, News, Photos, - Tampa Bay Rays". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/news?playerId=5902. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  7. ^ "Giants vs. Dodgers - Box Score - August 13, 2006". ESPN. 2006-08-13. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=260813119. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  8. ^ "Padres vs. Dodgers - Recap - September 18, 2006". ESPN. 2006-09-18. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260918119. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  9. ^ Gammons, Peter (April 16, 2007). "Martin's energy drives Dodgers". ESPN. http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=2840107&name=gammons_peter&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d2840107%26name%3dgammons_peter. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  10. ^ "Pirates vs. Dodgers - Recap - April 21, 2007". ESPN. 2007-04-21. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=270421119. Retrieved 2008-04-16. "Martin's walk-off grand slam sends Dodgers past Pirates" 
  11. ^ Thrasher, Kelly (2007-05-21). "Votebook: All-Star talents behind plate". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070521&content_id=1977593&vkey=allstar2007&fext=.jsp. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  12. ^ Gurnick, Ken (2007-06-04). "Dodgers make dent in All-Star voting". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070603&content_id=2003946&vkey=allstar2007&fext=.jsp. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  13. ^ GoBlue1324 (2007-12-27). "2008 Fantasy Baseball: Catchers". Sporting News. http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/GoBlue1324/126640/. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  14. ^ Spencer, Lyle (2007-07-11). "Dodgers take All-Star Game by storm". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070710&content_id=2079849&vkey=allstar2007&fext=.jsp. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  15. ^ "The Official Site of Major League Baseball: History: MLB Awards". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/mlb_awards_content.jsp?content=silver_slugger_history. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  16. ^ "Maddux wins record 17th Gold Glove". Sporting News. 2007-11-06. http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?p=2643130. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  17. ^ "The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: News: Martin starts at hot corner". MLB.com. 2008-05-02. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080502&content_id=2627891&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  18. ^ Baxter, Kevin (2007-07-07). "Dodgers Report: Blister might limit All-Star Penny". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dodrep7-2008jul07,0,7733094.story. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  19. ^ Hoch, Bryan (2008-07-16). "Night is Young: AL walks off in 15th". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080715&content_id=3137808&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  20. ^ Source: Dodgers give Martin 1-year, $3.9M deal. Retrieved on 2009-01-20.
  21. ^ Gurnick, Ken (2010-03-07). "Martin to be sidelined four to six weeks". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100307&content_id=8705354&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  22. ^ "The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers: Fan Forum: Player Songs". MLB.com. http://www.losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/fan_forum/songs.jsp. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  23. ^ Gurnick, Ken (2009-01-29). "Martin changes name, attitude for '09". MLB.com. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090129&content_id=3784288&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  24. ^ "Russell Martin Bio". MLB.com. http://www.mlb.com/players/russell_martin/bio/index.jsp. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  25. ^ Ken Gurnick (12 March 2009). "Tobacco-free Martin rejoins Dodgers". http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090312&content_id=3976480&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la. Retrieved 13 March 2009. 

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