José Martínez (baseball, born 1942)
|Born: July 26, 1942|
|Died: October 1, 2014 (aged 72)|
Orlando, Florida, United States
|June 18, 1969, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 28, 1970, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Runs batted in||16|
|Career highlights and awards|
José Martínez Azcuis (July 26, 1942 – October 1, 2014) was a Cuban-born Major League Baseball infielder, coach, executive and scout. As a player, he appeared in 96 games during the 1969 and 1970 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, primarily as a second baseman. Martínez threw and batted right-handed and was listed as 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 178 pounds (81 kg).
Born in Cárdenas in Matanzas Province, he attended La Progresiva High School in his native city and signed with the Pirates in 1961. In 1969, he made his MLB debut; his 77 games played included 34 starts at second base, third on the club behind Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski and Gene Alley, the Pirates' former starting shortstop. On September 8, Martínez hit his only major league home run, a ninth-inning grand slam off Claude Raymond of the Montreal Expos that delivered the winning runs in a 6–2 Pittsburgh victory at Jarry Park Stadium.
Late in May 1970, Martínez returned to the minor leagues, where he spent the remainder of his playing career. He was acquired by the Kansas City Royals' organization in 1972, beginning a 16-year-long association with the club. He managed in the Royals' farm system from 1976–1979 and then joined the team's MLB coaching staff. Working under skippers Jim Frey, Dick Howser, Mike Ferraro, Billy Gardner and John Wathan for eight seasons (1980–1987), he served on the team's 1980 American League pennant winners and the 1985 world championship team. Then, in 1988, Martínez joined the Chicago Cubs, reunited with Frey, then the Cubbies' general manager. He spent seven years as a member of the Cubs' coaching staff, working for four different managers.
In 1995, John Schuerholz, who had been farm system director and then general manager of the Royals during Martínez' tenure in Kansas City, brought Martínez to the Atlanta Braves' front office as his special assistant, and Martínez worked for the Braves for 20 years until his death on October 1, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League statistics
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