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01/12/2007 11:38 AM ET
Pedro visits a Mets prospect -- his son
Pedro Martinez laughs with his son, Pedro E. Martinez, during a visit Thursday to the Mets' training complex in Boca de Nigua, Dominican Republic. (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

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BOCA DE NIGUA, Dominican Republic -- Pedro Martinez got an extra benefit from making a charity visit with teammates -- he checked up on his 19-year-old son at the Mets' training academy.

Martinez drove up to the camp about 16 miles from Santo Domingo in a bright orange Dodge Charger. Still recovering from shoulder surgery that's expected to sideline him until July, the 35-year-old ace said he'd like to pitch for another few years.

"I'm not going to play until I'm 40," he said. "You're not going to spend your whole life on a career and not even have time for family or anything.

Martinez said he would like to coach baseball in retirement.

His son, pitching prospect Pedro E. Martinez, hugged his father and shook hands with Mets general manager Omar Minaya.

"We go to the gym together ... He's recuperating well," the younger Martinez said.

While the three-time Cy Young winner spoke, the academy's students swarmed to take his picture while Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, first baseman Julio Franco and third baseman David Wright took turns sitting in the Charger's orange suede interior.

At a ceremony, the Mets presented a $25,000 donation to Esperanza International, a charity founded by former Major Leaguer David Valle to provide small loans for poor Dominicans.

"We support Esperanza because we want to help in the areas of education, health and jobs, trying to eradicate poverty," Minaya said.

Martinez's star power in his Caribbean homeland of nearly 9 million has helped attract Dominican prospects to the academy, said the Dominican-born Minaya. The Mets are searching for locations to build an expanded academy.

Wright, on his first trip to the Caribbean country, said he hoped to study Spanish in the offseason to communicate with Latin players.

"It's just become sort of a norm in baseball. I'd love to be able to speak. Not be fluent maybe, but understand," he said.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.