Martinez's old number significant on 11/11/11

Martinez's old number significant on 11/11/11

Martinez's old number significant on 11/11/11
SEATTLE -- In case you're wondering, there have been eight players to wear jersey No. 11 during the Mariners history. And, yes, the greatest one of all, Edgar Martinez, was well aware that Friday was 11-11-11 on the calendar.

"One of the Mariners' trainers from years ago sent me a text about it being 11-11-11," Martinez said. "And it was so funny, I went to a little thing my 9-year-old daughter [Tessa] was singing at. It was a grand opening of a store and they wanted to open at 11:11 in the morning on 11/11. So it was pretty cool to see that."

Martinez, who retired in 2004, still lives in Bellevue, Wash., with his wife, Holli, and their three kids. He recently sold his interest in Branded Solutions, a Bellevue company that puts logos on clothing and other products, but has moved into a new line of business.

He's now promoting El Zacatecano, a mezcal liquor similar to tequila that is distilled in Mexico.

"We have a Latin group of business people involved with me in that business and other investments surrounding the Latino community," Martinez said. "I'm having a great time doing that."

Martinez hasn't sat still during his retirement. He went back to school for a time and also took flying lessons, though that is on the backburner for now.

"When you take flying lessons you have to do it in a row," he said. "My family traveled the last two years in the summer time and the winter here is kind of a bad time to fly. So I've put that on hold, but I do love to fly."

Martinez will be eligible for Hall of Fame election for a third time this winter, having been named on 32.9 percent of the ballots by Baseball Writers' Association of America voters last year, with 75 percent necessary for induction.

Interestingly, former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin -- who earned 62.1 percent of the vote in his second season of eligibility and will be one of the favorites for Hall of Fame election this year -- also wore No. 11 throughout his career.

As for the other Mariners to wear No. 11? That would be outfielder Tommy Smith (1977), infielder Charlie Beamon (1978), infielder Mario Mendoza (1979-80), infielder Jim Maler (1981), catcher Terry Bulling (1982), infielder Darnell Coles (1983) and catcher Bob Kearney (1984-87).

No Mariner since Martinez has worn the number. And no one else likely will, given he's a good bet to have his number retired at some point. As of now, the only retired number by the Mariners is the 42 of Jackie Robinson.

The Mariners' policy is that numbers can't be retired until six years after a player's retirement, and that the player has either been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and been in a Mariners uniform for at least five years, or come close to Hall of Fame election and spent substantially his entire career with the Mariners.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.