Carlos Martinez, quite possibly best remembered for his hit that Jose Canseco misplayed off of his head for a home run at Cleveland Stadium, passes away in his native Venezuela. He was only 40 years old.
The third and first baseman and occasional designated hitter was drafted and developed by the New York Yankees, but later was traded to and made his debut with the Chicago White Sox after a six-player trade that featured three other former or future Indians players (Ron Hassey, Ron Kittle, and Joel Skinner).
He spent three seasons in the Majors with the White Sox before signing as a free agent with the Indians. He played three seasons with Cleveland, batting .264 with 15 home runs in 221 games with the club. He was released by the team prior to the 1994 season and did not play professionally that year, but returned briefly to the Majors for 26 games with the California Angels in 1995. He was the father of current St. Louis Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Jose Martinez.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
1917 – Wally Judnich is born in San Francisco, California. He would spend one season in Cleveland as a member of the 1948 World Series winning Indians.
1936 – Dick Stigman, who was an All-Star in his rookie season with the Indians in 1960 and spent two seasons with the club at the Major League level, is born in Nimrod, Minnesota.
1953 – Tim Stoddard, who concluded his 13-year MLB career with 14 games in relief for the Indians in 1989, is born in East Chicago, Indiana.
1958 – A second member of the 1989 Indians was born on this date, as Neil Allen is born in Kansas City, Kansas. He spent the final three games of his eleven-year MLB career in Cleveland.
1984 – Starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, who resurrected his career with the Indians in 2013, is born in Houston, Texas.