Exclusive Footage Includes the Hero’s Welcome Martinez Received In the Dominican Republic After His Hall of Fame Election; Watch Clip Here
January 29, 2015 – Exclusive interviews and inside access with newly elected Baseball Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz will be featured in Hall of Fame Pitchers: Smoltz & Pedro, the fourth installment of MLB Network Presents, on Tuesday, February 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Hosted by Bob Costas, the program begins with a behind-the-scenes look at Martinez’s election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including the moment he got the call and the enormous celebration in his native Dominican Republic with fans and family. Using highlights from 18 hours of exclusive footage, the episode features Martinez’s trip to New York immediately following the election announcement, and the hero’s welcome he received upon arriving at the Dominican Republic’s Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas, about which Martinez says, “After I hugged my mom and my brother and I told them, ‘Mission accomplished,’ it was like, ‘This is a party now.’”
The show features footage of Martinez’s car ride through the parade thrown in his honor, the massive party in his hometown of Manoguayabo with countrymen and current Major Leaguers Robinson Cano and David Ortiz, and his visit with President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina at the National Palace. In interviews featured throughout the show, Martinez and his wife Carolina discuss his journey to become becoming just the second player from the Dominican Republic to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his country’s reaction to the election. Martinez also shares his thoughts on being selected as the Dominican Republic’s newest Goodwill Ambassador and the new responsibilities that come from being a Hall of Famer. A preview clip of this feature can be viewed here.
Filmed last week at the popular baseball-themed Foley’s New York Pub and Restaurant in New York City, Hall of Fame Pitchers: Smoltz & Pedro continues with MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian sitting down with Smoltz to reflect back on his Hall of Fame career and the emotional ride he’s experienced since being elected. Smoltz talks about his reputation as a big-game pitcher, how he transitioned from an All-Star starter to closer, and the surprising hitters that had success against him.
Smoltz also discusses how he would like his Hall of Fame speech to unfold, about which he says, “I want it to be obviously filled with humility, but I am going to take this moment to make a point to the crowd, to have an opportunity to use this as something the crowd and parents and adults can hear and listen to and get something out of it because that’s … the one impact I’ll be able to have. I want to make sure all the right people are thanked, but at the same time, I want to define not only who I was and what you can be, [but] change the culture of this next generation that’s coming up that either … desires to one day be on that stage or just wants to be a baseball player.”
MLB Network Presents is a series of documentaries and access-driven profiles on some of baseball’s most prominent personalities, with the final episode of the offseason airing on Tuesday, February 10. Previous episodes have included The Offseason: Hope in Chicago and Miami, Nasty Boys: The 1990 Cincinnati Reds and The Odd Couple: Bochy and Flannery.