Tino Martinez had a swing made for old Yankee Stadium, and when he was traded to New York prior to the 1996 season, he became a star and a productive player because of his unique skills.†Martinez averaged 29 homers, 30 doubles, and 115 RBI in his first six seasons in the Bronx, and the Yanks won four World Series titles and five pennants over that stretch. In 1997 he had one of the best slugging seasons by a Yankee since the days of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, belting 44 homers and driving in 141 runs. He finished second in American League MVP voting to his former teammate, Ken Griffey Jr.
Martinez hit one of the most dramatic home runs in Yankee and World Series history in 2001. In Game Four at Yankee Stadium, with the Yankees trailing by two runs, Tino belted a two-run, game-tying homer off Arizona closer Byung Hyun Kim. The next inning Derek Jeter’s homer (also off Kim) won the game.
The Tampa native spent two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and one with the Devil Rays before returning to the Yankees for one final season, hitting 17 homers.