Victor Martinez is born in Bolivar, Venezuela.
The former Cleveland catcher, first baseman, and designated hitter was signed in 1996 as an amateur free agent. He made his debut in 2002 at the age of 23. He spent parts of eight seasons in an Indians uniform, making three All-Star teams and winning one Silver Slugger Award.
Martinez was traded during the 2009 season to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitchers Nick Hagadone, Justin Masterson, and Bryan Price. He left town with a career .297 average with Cleveland and hit 103 home runs. His best season was in 2007 when he hit .301 with 25 home runs and 114 RBI while the Indians pushed deep into the postseason.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
1968: Rick White, who appeared in 59 games for Cleveland as a reliever in 2004, is born.
1988: Current Indians catcher Roberto Perez is born.
2012: Sources indicate that free agent outfielder Nick Swisher has agreed to terms with Cleveland on a four-year, $56 million contract. Using his Twitter account, Swisher confirmed the move, one that would not be made official for eleven more days.