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In his hometown of Manoguayabo, a Santo Domingo suburb, he’s donated land for a youth baseball field that he’d like to call “Little Fenway” in honor of the Boston Red Sox, his team for seven of his best seasons. He hopes to surround the field with tennis and volleyball courts.

Martinez’s foundation is working with poor kids from the community.

“Those are the ones I’m embracing because I was like this, so I’m taking a lot of those kids and being a father to 800, 1000 kids and, hopefully, many more,” he said.

Growing up, he didn’t have a good field or real equipment.

“The baseball would be a piece of curtain or a piece of clothes or leaves from a tree,” he said. “I remember taking my sisters’ dolls there and using them as a ball. I’m pretty sure they don’t regret it now, but back then it was a big deal,” he said.

He has a ready smile and a laugh, just like he did in his playing days _ except when he was pitching. Martinez had a different personality when he took the mound,

“To me it was a great honor to have 60,000 people just chant my name, in favor or against. It doesn’t matter. I made a difference,” he said. “I’m not a baseball player when I’m not pitching _ I’m a goofball. I’m a normal man. I’ll sit on any block.”

But, oh, on the mound.

“That’s business,” he said. “I’m in a jungle, and I consider myself a lion. So I’m going to kill you if I’m hungry. And I was always hungry to win.”