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The packed Rogers Center Blue Jays celebrates Russell Martin on Canada Day

Article author:

Lance Hornby

Lance Hornby

Former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin with one of his daughters watches a video display of his time with the team after announcing his retirement from professional baseball before the game between the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays in Toronto on Friday, July 1, 2022.
Former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin and one of his daughters of his time I'm watching a video display. The team after announcing their retirement from professional baseball before the Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays match in Toronto on Friday, July 1, 2022.Photo: Jon Blacker/Canada Press

Russell Martin pitches for the Blue Jays ritual I was used to catching instead of throwing.

But who would be better off delivering Canada Day than Canada's most famous backstop?

On Friday, Martin, who was euphoric as a special guest to the Tampa Bay Rays, received a long, loud applause from the Rogers Center Full House and met media in Toronto's Doug Out. The person from East York, who won the Gold Glove Award four times, was full of memories.

"Noisy moments, my teammates, playoff games ... I miss them. My first season here was 2015. This is It's like the resurrection of baseball here. It was special to be born in Toronto, become Canadian, walk down the street and everyone is wearing shirts and hats.

"Other Standing out more than any moment in the throat is Jose Bautista's bat flip (playoffs with Texas in 2015). Crowd electricity. I could feel the ground quivering, the energy was insane.

Bautista narrated Martin's tribute video on Friday. The video included messages from former teammates such as former manager John Gibbons, Canadian Joey Votto, and Kevin Pillar. The club gave him a specially assembled sweater, half Jaze and half the national team.

Martin recalled a laugh about the turmoil of Dominion Day from 2016, a 19-inning, six-and-a-half-hour war that visited Cleveland.

"The one I was kicked out by yelling at the referee (the infamous Vic Carapazza of the Texas series) because he was so terrible. The crowd had my back. Whether he won (or lost) I don't remember, but it was a great experience. "

Since then, Martin has said that Canada Day always has a" playoff "atmosphere.

"I feel the energy of the crowd. It's special because I'm wearing a red jersey," he said.

But he shouldn't look for Martin crouching behind the plate or sitting in the first row behind the plate. Golf (he has 6 handicap) and his family are now his passion. He just sees a game that stumbled while surfing the channel or follows the progress of ex-Jaze. The

team was promoted from Buffalo three weeks ago and connected him by phone with prospect Gabriel Moreno, who was blessing and wearing Martin's old 55 sweaters.

"I told him that there were a lot of hits left in that number," said Martin, who threw the opening ceremony at the youth.

After four seasons here, Martin, one of the 14 major highlights, retired in 2019 at the age of 36 after playing for a year with his former team, the Dodgers. He was abroad most of the time. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, when his two daughters reach school age, they are likely to be around here and elsewhere in Montreal. They and their partner Elizabeth accompanied the mound on Friday.

Will he consider sitting down for Canada at next year's World Baseball Classic?

"I don't think so, I'm very sick right now. I want to think I can, but I'm not approaching. Everything I spend a lot of time preparing for the offseason Too much respect for the people. They're like fine-tuned race cars, and now they're like beat-up Chevy. "

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