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Joe Martina

Joe Martina (inducted May 10, 2008)
(1889 - 1962)

"Oyster" Joe Martina was born in New Orleans in 1889. He was a wild fireballer, winning 121 games in seven seasons at Beaumont in the Texas League and 133 more in seven years with his hometown New Orleans Pelicans en route to a minor league mark of 349-277.

After leading his 1923 New Orleans Pelicans to their sixth Southern Association pennant with a record of 21 wins and 10 losses, Martina earned the attention of the Washington Senators and made his major league debut on April 19, 1924 at the tender age of 34. He went 6 and 8 on the season and threw a single inning in Game Three of the 1924 World Series against the New York Giants which the Senators captured in seven games.

Martina returned to New Orleans for another four seasons helping them win two more Southern Association pennants. Oyster Joe was the winningest pitcher in the history of the New Orleans Pelicans with 133 wins against 79 losses. It wasn't until 1980 that Joe Martina's record of 2,770 minor league career strikeouts was broken by George Brunet.

Martina retired from professional baseball after the 1935 season and became a salesman for the American Brewery Company in New Orleans where he died at the age of 72 in 1962.