- Dave's favorite player, his idol, was Roberto Clemente. "I try to play as hard as he did. That's my goal," he says.
- When he was 6 years old, Dave started playing baseball back in Brentwood, New York, a town of close to 50,000 on Long Island. He was 13 when his family moved to Maitland, Florida, just north of Orlando. "My parents decided New York wasn't the place where they wanted to raise their kids," Martinez said.
- Dave played guard in basketball and was an all-state cornerback in football at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park FL. He grabbed 9 interceptions in 12 games.
Even though he ran the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds, he wasn't recruited by any of the major football powers when he graduated in 1982.
"I was too little," he says. "When I graduated from high school, I only weighed 145 pounds." Dave had better prospects in baseball after hitting .438 as a senior. But when the Texas Rangers made him only their 40th-round pick in June 1982, Martinez decided to go to Valencia Community College in Orlando, FL. He spent that fall in the outfield and generated enough interest for the Cubs to make him their third pick in the secondary phase of the January 1983 draft.
- While with the Cubs, he and teammate Brian Dayett were leaving Wrigley Field one day after a game in 1987 when Dayett struck up a conversation with a woman who was looking for autographs. They ended up making a date and suggested that Martinez come along to keep company with the girl's friend, Lisa Wood. A year later, Dave married Lisa. They, and their four children (Josh, Jagger, Dalton and Angelica), live near the water in Clearwater, FL, where Dave does a lot of fishing.
- Martinez has a professional, calming influence in a Major League clubhouse.
- Martinez doesn't get a whole lot of attention. And he doesn't feel neglected. "I come in, do what I have to do, take a shower and go home," he said
- He will play when he is hurt. He is tough.
- Dave's wife, Lisa, underwent a 9-hour operation at a hospital in Palm Harbor, Florida, June 30, 1999.
- Martinez is a good presence in a clubhouse. He is a true professional.
David has twin brothers, Eric and Ernie, who are members of the alternative rock group "Unfisted" that is based in Orlando, Florida.
Dec 21, 2018: Nats manager Dave Martinez has seen his roster receive a bit of an overhaul this offseason, with more moves almost certainly on the horizon. As he prepares to begin his second holiday season as a big league manager, Martinez can already thank general manager Mike Rizzo for an early Christmas gift—free-agent lefthander Patrick Corbin.
In the past, Martinez has spent time giving out gifts at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and he made an effort to spend some time in D.C. this 2018 offseason. Martinez took a few extra minutes to sit down with MLB.com at the Winter Meetings.
MLB.com: What are your plans for the holidays?
Martinez: I think I'm going to go to Tennessee, then go hang with my kids a little bit [in Tampa]. See my granddaughters. I was just in Tampa and did my Christmas shopping just so I didn't have to mail anything.
MLB.com: What's Christmas like in the Martinez household?
Martinez: It's fun. Laid-back. Nice to be with loved ones. We relax ... we do eat a lot, though.
MLB.com: What are some memorable gifts you've ever given?
Martinez: It's tough because my son's birthday is on the 15th, so we bought him a car for his birthday, but it was also a Christmas gift. That was a big deal, it was his first car. We bought him a nice [Chevrolet] Avalanche. It was his 17th birthday; he'll be 30 this year.
MLB.com: Most memorable gift you've ever received?
Martinez: One thing that stands out right now is Pat Corbin. That's pretty good. [Laughs.] You know, last year was special for me just because it was my first Christmas as a manager, so for me that was a gift. I worked hard to get where I'm at, so it was nice.
MLB.com: What gift would you give to your coaching staff?
Martinez: Hmm, that's a tough one … my coaching staff likes backpacks. I don't know why, they're into backpacks. I actually might do that, maybe I'll send them all a nice backpack. (J Collier - MLB.com - Dec 21, 2018)
Davey has four children: Josh, Jagger, Dalton and Angelica. And he has two grandaughters: Everly Ann and Amora Grace.
Dave had been on the job as Nationals manager for almost two years in August 2019 and had his share of ups and downs. But it's rare that one sees him get angry at his players. Martinez is often patient with his players and doesn’t dwell on a loss. He often says tomorrow is a different day.
Martinez said he learned to be patient when he was a player in the late 1980s. He said it was Buck Rodgers, then manager of the Expos, who taught him to stay patient whenever he was in a slump.
“This is a game of consistency,” Martinez said. “You try not to ride the highs and lows. When I first arrived in Montreal, I was 0-for-20 and [Rodgers] asked me if I was OK. I said, 'Yeah.' He said, ‘I’ve never seen you emotional. Now you are not getting hits, you look like you are a little frustrated. That’s not who you are. Just be you. Things will come. Things will happen.’ I realize he was right. Go out there, have fun and play baseball. If I go 0-for-4, I have another day tomorrow and do it again. That’s how I approach it with the players every day.” (Ladson - mlb.com - 8/11/19)
In an interview with Ryan Zimmerman, MLB asked him about his manager, Dave Martinez:
MLB.com: The one thing I noticed about Dave Martinez—he doesn’t get angry. It seems like he is patient. It seems like he tells you guys, “There’s always tomorrow.” Do you get that impression?
Zimmerman: He has had one and a half tough years here—obviously, by not making the playoffs with all the injuries we had last year. This year, with the start that we got off to 12 games under .500 and people saying he should get fired, he is literally the same guy every day. He’s positive. He has the players’ backs, he sticks with the guys. He is going to tell you the truth as well. Whether things are going good or bad, he is always the same guy.
When he first came to Spring Training a couple of years ago, he said, we are going to have fun playing. We are going to enjoy each other. When things are good or bad, we will continue to work and be the same people. A lot of managers have said that and then when stuff goes south, managers change and they go into self-preservation mode because they feel their hot feet warming up. And Dave has never done that. I honestly respect him and think the world of him for that. His steadiness and being even keel rubbed off on the team. (Ladson - mlb.com - 8/15/19)
Sept 16, 2019: The Nationals will be without manager Dave Martinez for at least the series opener against the Cardinals after he underwent a cardiac catheterization to help diagnose the chest pains that caused him to leave the dugout during the 7-0 victory over the Braves. Martinez will remain in Washington for additional testing; there is no timeline for his return. Bench coach Chip Hale will serve as manager in his absence.
“Speaking to [Martinez] today, it really reassured me that he’s doing great,” said general manager Mike Rizzo, who described Martinez as upbeat on the phone. “He’s a tough, strong guy. I think that looking at what transpired today, we’re happy and optimistic and hoping that he’ll be able to make a full recovery.”
Per the Mayo Clinic, a cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a long thin tube is inserted in an artery or vein in the groin, neck or arm and threaded through blood vessels to the heart, enabling doctors to diagnose issues. The recovery time is usually quick, with low risk of complications, but the Nationals are expected to give Martinez, who turns 55 later this month, all the time he needs.
Martinez first told some members of the coaching staff he was feeling chest pains while in the dugout during the game. He was initially examined by the training staff before he decided to get it checked out. He left around the sixth inning for the hospital as a precaution, a discreet exit many of his players did not even realize until sometime near the end of the game.
September 17, 2019: Dave was back at his home in D.C. after being released from the hospital, where a cardiac catheterization revealed he will not need any further procedures at the moment. He may need to undergo further testing at some point in the future, but the procedure did not show the need for anything immediate.
March 13, 2020: - With the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, many Nationals plan to stay in West Palm Beach and work out at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in preparation for when games resume.
“Obviously we’re getting ready for Opening Day, and it’s halted,” manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s disappointing, but we all get it. Health is the important thing right now, for everybody -- for fans, players, families. We get it. We’re going to do our best to stay positive throughout this whole thing -- which we will -- and just get ready to play when the bell rings.”
The Nationals began expressing interest in remaining in West Palm Beach before MLB announced that there are three pathways teams can take with Spring Training operations now suspended: players may return to their homes, remain in their respective Spring Training cities or return to their club’s home cities. (J Camerato - MLB.com - March 13, 2020)
- January 1983: The Cubs made Martinez their third pick in the secondary phase of the draft, out of Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida.
- July 14, 1988: The Cubs traded him to the Expos for Mitch Webster.
- December 11, 1991: The Reds traded P John Wetteland and P Bill Risley to the Expos to acquire Dave, P Scott Ruskin, and INF Willie Greene.
- December 9, 1992: Dave signed a two-year contract with the Giants.
- October 6, 1994: The Giants released Dave.
- April 4, 1995: Dave signed with the White Sox as a free agent.
- December 4, 1997: He signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
May 12, 2000: The Cubs sent P Mark Guthrie to the Devil Rays to acquire Martinez.
David then went to the Rangers as part of a three-way trade in which the Marlins got P Chuck Smith and the Cubs got Brant Brown.
August 4, 2000: The Blue Jays sent a player-to-be-named later to the Rangers to acquire Dave.
So Martinez joined Dave Kingman as the only players ever to play for four Major League teams in the same season.
December 10, 2000: The Braves signed Dave to a two-year, $3 million contract.
|DOB:||9/26/1964||Agent:||Alan Nero, Octagon|
|Birth City:||Manhattan, NY|
|Draft:||Cubs #3 (sec.) Jan. 1983 - Out of Valencia C.C. (FL)|
For years, Martinez was one of baseball's best fourth outfielders. But he just kept getting better with age and became a regular for a few years. He can play any of the three spots, has good speed and a line-drive stroke.
In 1996, after Darren Lewis disappointed the White Sox in center field, Chicago gave Martinez a shot at a regular job and Dave responded real well.
He was a regular for the Tampa Bay D'Rays until the 2000 season.
- Lacks power, but is a very disciplined hitter and hits the ball hard to all fields with short, quick lefthanded stroke. He has a fine line-drive swing.
- A quick bat. He is tough to strike out.
- Martinez is an excellent bunter and is always willing to give himself out to move a runner up.
- He is really pretty hard to pitch to because of all his adjustments. But basically, pitchers jam him if he stands up close to the plate and use breaking stuff down and away if he backs away from the dish.
- He hits righthanded pitchers a little better than lefties.
Dave's mental approach at the plate has improved a lot. He's become more aggressive and no longer goes into those periods where he'd go into a defensive mode at the plate where he'd take safety-first swings. The bottom line is Dave doesn't get cheated too often.
Said Martinez, "I've often been told to hit and run the bases with the same aggressiveness I play the OF. I've always been aggressive playing the OF. I've never been afraid of making a mistake. Now I think I have that idea in my head with all aspects of my game. If I make a mistake, at least I make it aggressively." He shows great intensity and knowledge on every plate appearance, now
- Dave had a career-high 19-game hitting streak end Aug. 27, 1997.
- He plays the "little game" real well—an expert bunter, great at advancing runners, delivers a sacrifice fly when it is needed, and avoids hitting into double plays.
- Martinez really took to the role of the bench in 2001 with the Braves. He is an excellent pinch-hitter. "That's because I've got no choice," David said, admitting he'd much rather play regularly. "I could either whine about it or do my job." So he accepted being a big plus to the team.
Dave runs well. He is a decent base-stealer and knows when to run. He is aggressive on the bases, but doesn't always make the right decision.
Martinez has good range and an above average arm. He always hits the cutoff man and keeps his throws down. Fine in right field. In center, he doesn't really have the aggressiveness needed to play there. He plays a shallow CF, but is seldom burned, going back for the ball exceptionally well.
He plays shallow in right field, too. He prides himself on knowing the hitting tendencies of each hitter in the league. Martinez is also a very good defensive first baseman with above-average range.
- Dave's career Major League stats: .276 batting average, with 1,599 hits, 238 doubles, 91 home runs with 580 RBI in 5,795 at-bats.
Martinez and Joe Maddon have been joined at the hip for a long time.
"I've been mentored by the best, and I understand players well," Dave said. "I understand media very well, which is a big part of managing. I'm a student of the game. Every day you learn something different, and I'll never stop learning."
POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS
October 11, 2007: The Devil Rays hired Martinez as the new Bench Coach under manager Joe Maddon. (Dave replaced Bill Evers.)
November 25, 2014: Dave chose to leave the Rays' organization.
December 4, 2014: Martinez joined the Cubs as Bench Coach under manager Joe Maddon, for whom Dave had coached since 2008, with the Rays.
- October 2017: The Nationals hired Martinez as their manager. It will be his first managerial job. He takes over for Dusty Baker, who in two seasons with the Nats won a lot of regular season games, but could not win in the playoffs.
- 1984: Martinez was injured almost all of the season.
- September 25, 1989: He sustained a shoulder separation and a muscle contusion to his left side diving for a ball.
- May 1, 1993: Dave went on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring.
- July 22, 1998: Martinez went on the D.L. with a left quadricep strain, ending his season.
- 2001: He was slowed the last few months of the season by bone spurs behind his knee cap. Doctors said the only way to get to them was to cut his patella tendon, which would sideline him most of a season.
- February 2002: Martinez had to undergo surgery to repair his right patella tendon, so he could not play that year. In fact, that ended his career. A bone spur tore that tendon.