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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Representing the 7th District of Washington

Jayapal Introduces Bipartisan Resolution to Honor Seattle’s Baseball Legend Edgar Martinez

December 22, 2017
Press Release
The resolution is co-sponsored by Nydia Velázquez, Jenniffer González-Colón and Washington State’s Adam Smith, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, joined by 35 members of Congress including Representatives Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Washington state’s Adam Smith (D-WA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Denny Heck (D-WA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced a resolution honoring the Seattle Mariners' Edgar Martinez for his outstanding career as a professional baseball player and for his noteworthy humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

“For all the ways that Edgar has given back to our Seattle community, as well as our global community, it is an honor to recognize him. He shows, in no uncertain terms, that commitment and compassion—on and off the field—can change lives for the better,” said Rep. Jayapal. “From his fellowship program that benefits teachers and students to his funding of muscular dystrophy research, Edgar goes to bat for our community time and again. Thank you, Edgar, for all you do.”

“As a member of our organization for more than 25 years, we know firsthand that Edgar is both a Hall of Fame person, and a Hall of Fame player,” said Kevin Mather, Seattle Mariners President & Chief Executive Officer. “We thank Congresswoman Jayapal for sponsoring House Resolution 672 honoring Edgar Martinez for his excellence as a player, and for his substantial philanthropic efforts to make the Northwest a better community for all.”  

“Time and again, Edgar has shown up for his team and his community.  Not only is he a beloved figure in the Pacific Northwest, but also a celebrated son of Puerto Rico. Edgar’s character and service makes us all proud. It is my honor to join my colleagues today in recognizing his great career and contributions,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez.

“Martinez represents the best of the game of Baseball through his extraordinary character, community involvement, positive contributions, both on and off the field. This Puerto Rican baseball player exemplifies discipline and determination, and in addition to being a source of pride for all Puerto Ricans, examples our youth because of his performance, effort and tenacity. Edgar deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and hopefully the voters will acknowledge that this year,” said Rep. González-Colón.

In addition to Velázquez and González-Colón, the bipartisan legislation is backed by Washington state’s entire Democratic House delegation.

“Edgar Martinez exemplifies the Pacific Northwest tradition of social responsibility and engagement in athletics.  Martinez devoted countless hours and considerable funds to battle Muscular Dystrophy; he helped to create a more diverse pool of teachers in Washington state; and he selflessly contributed to the fundraising efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy and other disasters. To me, Martinez is both an all-star on and off the field,” said Rep. Smith.

“Edgar Martinez started his professional career in Bellingham. As Congress honors him for his abilities on the diamond and his citizenship, I am confident this is the year he cements his legacy with a trip to Cooperstown,” said Rep. Rick Larsen.

“Edgar Martinez has been a leader not only in athletics but also in our community and he’s well-deserving of recognition for all his hard work on and off the baseball field,” Rep. DelBene said. “So in honor of Edgar, it’s only fitting that Congress gets out the rye bread and mustard, it’s grand salami time.”

“I was at Game 5 of the ALDS on October 8, 1995, when Edgar Martinez hit a double, sending Ken Griffey, Jr. to home plate. That moment, and other moments are embedded in every Mariner fan’s memory, and his Grand Slam career made watching baseball in the Pacific Northwest an absolute joy. One of the great injustices is that he has not been admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but this resolution can serve to honor all that he has done both on and off the field for Washington state,” said Rep. Denny Heck.  

“Edgar Martinez is one of the best hitters to ever play the game. He helped revolutionize the game by defining the DH role. He’s helped make our community a great place on the field and off. I’ll never forget The Double, which some have said saved baseball in Seattle,” Rep. Derek Kilmer said. “Congratulations ‘Gar.”

Last month, the Seattle Mariners retired the number 11 jersey of former player and current coach Edgar Martinez, who has been a model of the American dream and the American spirit of giving back to the community.

Edgar Martinez was raised in Dorado, Puerto Rico and attended Jose S. Alegria High School in Dorado. After a very successful baseball career, he created both the Martinez Fellowship Program, which aims to help close the achievement gap by improving teacher diversity and the retention of teachers of color in Washington State, and the Edgar Martinez Endowment for Muscular Dystrophy Research. He has supported multiple other humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico as well as in Washington, New York City and Mexico.

Jayapal’s resolution is co-sponsored by 35 members of Congress including Reps. Karen Bass (CA-37), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Michael Doyle (PA-14), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwi ght Evans (PA-02), Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-AL), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Denny Heck (WA-10), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Peter King (NY-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Grace Meng (NY-06), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Adam Smith (WA-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Maxine Waters (CA-43).

A copy of the resolution can be found here.