Note: This is the page for the major league player named Dave Martinez. For minor league players with the same or similar names please click here.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 175 lb.
- School Valencia Community College
- High School Lake Howell High School
- Debut June 15, 1986
- Final Game October 7, 2001
- Born September 26, 1964 in New York, NY USA
Dave Martinez was signed after being selected in the secondary phase of the January 1983 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and scout Jim Zerilla. He first reached the major leagues with the Cubs in 1986. he had a very good season for them in 1987, when he hit .292/.372/.418 in 142 games as the team's starting centerfielder. However, he slumped during the first half of the 1988 season and on July 14th was traded to the Montreal Expos in return for Mitch Webster. He never became a star player, because he lacked power and his batting averages were not quite high enough to compensate, but he developed into a very useful fourth outfielder with the Expos from 1989-1991, getting 360-400 at-bats each year while playing all three outfield spots. However, the Expos came up with three excellent young outfielders during the period, in Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom and Larry Walker, and with Otis Nixon also around and a number of youngsters in the minors, he became supernumerary. Before the 1992 season, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a trade that brought closer John Wetteland to Montreal.
He moved around a lot in the second half of his career, and while never a starter at a single spot, he was a quasi-regular for the Chicago White Sox from 1995 to 1997, even though he did not have a fixed position. He hit .307, .318 and .286 those three years, scoring 85 runs the second year and hitting a career-high 12 homers the next. He was an original member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, being signed as a free agent by the expansion team before its inaugural 1998 season. He played mainly right field for them in their first two seasons, getting the most at-bats of his career in 1999 when he hit .284 in 514 at-bats.
During the 2000 season, he was traded three times in two and a half months:
- First, on May 12th, he was dealt from the Devil Rays back to the Chicago Cubs for Mark Guthrie and cash;
- On June 9th, he was dealt to the Texas Rangers for Brant Brown; and
- Finally, on August 4th, he was sent to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later (who turned out to be P Peter Munro, named on August 8th).
Remarking on this whirlwind of moves, he was quoted as saying: "At least teams want me." Despite all the moving around, he played 114 games that season, hitting his customary .285. He finished his playing career with a final season with the Atlanta Braves in 2001, where he hit .287 in 120 games. He finally got to play in the postseason that year, going 1 for 6 in two series as the Braves were eliminated by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS.
During his career, Martinez was twice used as a pitcher in blowout games, by the Expos in 1990, when he gave up 2 hits and 2 walks in a third of an inning and had to give way to Junior Noboa, another position player, to finish the inning, and in 1995 with the White Sox, when he gave up a couple of walks but no runs in one inning of work.
After retiring as a player, Martinez became a coach, joining the Devil Rays as first base coach for Joe Maddon in 2007, and then moving to bench coach in 2008, the year the now re-named Rays reached the World Series. He stayed in the position until the end of the 2014 season, when Maddon left to manage the Chicago Cubs. Martinez was considered as a potential successor to Maddon in Tampa Bay, but instead moved to Chicago where he became the Cubs' bench coach in 2015.