Pedro Martinez Jr. makes a name for himself in baseball (includes audio slideshow)

Under the bright lights in Brockton, Massachusetts’ Campanelli Stadium, thousands of spectators and reporters were preparing for a momentous day. The Brockton Rox were set to face off against the Lake Monsters on Friday, June 10, at 7 o’clock, but the focus was elsewhere. Everyone’s eyes were on Pedro Martinez Jr, Manny Ramirez Jr, D’Angelo Ortiz, Jaden Sheffield, and Kade Foulke as they took the diamond. 

All were sons of players on the legendary 2004 Boston Red Sox team that defeated the New York Yankees in one of the century’s most talked about World Series. This day, as members of a collegiate summer league team called the Rox, they were chasing their own dreams of making it to the majors just like their fathers did. 

“For so many people, this was nostalgic,” Pedro Martinez Jr., son of the Major League Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner of the same name, told ESPN. “We all used to see each other at Fenway at reunions. To be able to play with each other and not watch our dads play was a cool experience for all of us… it was a summer to remember.”

After finishing up with the Rox, Martinez Jr. headed back to Lynn University, a division II school in Boca Raton. There he is an outfielder and is currently wrapping up the back-half of his senior season. 

He hopes to experience the highest level of baseball and leave a legacy like his dad, but in his own way. “I want to make a difference,” Martinez Jr. says. “I want to be somebody different and make an impact in baseball history when it’s my turn.” 

Martinez Jr. was born in La Vega in the Dominican Republic, but moved to Miami at 2 years old. Early in his childhood he got accustomed to watching his dad on the big screen, thinking it was totally normal. He then realized his dad wasn’t just any ordinary guy as his friends in elementary school gushed. At the time his father had already established himself as a great player. In 2004 he helped the Sox win a World Series title for the first time in 86 years. He finished with a 117-37 record while with them, which is among the highest winning percentages any pitcher has ever had on any team in baseball history. 

Junior first started playing baseball at age 5. His dad retired in 2009, towards the end of his little league years. The allowed him to be more involved and to become more of a mentor. At age 13, Senior have his son a choice: “Do it right or don’t do it at all.”

“It was never forced, but If I was going to do it, I was going to do it respecting the game and giving my best on the field,” Martinez Jr. says, recalling the day his dad sat him down and said, “If you’re going to take it seriously then from this moment on, I’m going to treat you seriously.”

Since then, he has played baseball for Calvary Christian Academy where he was able to earn a scholarship to Nova Southeastern University. Unfortunately, his time there was cut short due to the pandemic while at Nova, and he decided to transfer to Lynn University in the spring of 2021. During the summer of that same year he joined the Rox in the Future Collegiate League. 

He had the opportunity to join the Rox again in the summer of 2022, when he played alongside the other Red Sox sons. He speaks of those moments happily, stating he really enjoyed his time there, as he admits it’s nice having others around who understand what he is going through. He claims that it was fun getting to play on the same field with those he considers family.

While on the Rox, Martinez Jr. was able to develop his own baseball identity and belief in himself. He put his talents on display while still proudly carrying his father’s name on the back of his jersey.

With the 23-year-old on the field, Lynn University where his team has a 12-15-1. He is hitting .308 and hasn’t made an error in the field all season.

“I see myself being a big leaguer. That’s the goal. I have faith, love for baseball, and quite a role model to look up to,” says Martinez Jr. “My dad is my strength, my rock, and the person who gives me the tough love I need.”

He is aware of the added expectations his name carries, but that doesn’t stop him from taking care of business on the field. He tells us he has no days off and trains 10 times harder than anyone around him. He believes that if he continues to demonstrate discipline, perseverance, and hard work it will lead to greatness and pay off in the long run. He notes that his father played a huge impact on his love for the game and that he has helped along the way, but the work and consistency are strictly his.

Martinez Jr. has a strong support system that allows him to strictly focus on his studies and on his future. He claims that this makes it easier to establish a healthy balance of the three most important things to him right now: family, school, and baseball. 

Maria Jacobo, mother of Pedro Jr. and ex-wife of Pedro Martinez, witnessed greatness through her ex-husband and believes she will experience it once again with her son. “I am proud of the man he is becoming and I know that his efforts will be worth it in the end. It takes a deep passion to show up and put in the hours every single day,” she says. “We have faith and know that Pedro has more than what it takes to make it to the MLB.” 

Junior responds that he now wants to make his family proud, show the world who he is, and “earn a name for himself.”

Sofia Paredes is a senior major in digital communications and broadcast journalism with a concentration in E-marketing Analytics. After her studies, she plans to work for a social media agency and help businesses grow online.

Zeth Leon is of Cuban descent. He is currently a Junior at FIU majoring in Digital Communications and Media with a concentration in digital broadcasting. After graduation, he plans to incorporate his love for sports into his work by becoming a play-by-play commentator or talk show host for a sports network.