Russell Martin last played in 2019, in his second stint with the Dodgers, but on Saturday made official his retirement from baseball.
He made the announcement on Instagram, where he also announced his wife is expecting their third child in a few weeks.
The Dodgers drafted Martin in the 17th round in 2002, and hit the ground running once he made the majors in 2006. Martin made All-Star teams in 2007 and 2008 with Los Angeles, adding both a Gold Glove and Sliver Slugger in 2007.
Martin had an uncommon combination of power and speed as a catcher, including 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases in his second year with the Dodgers. He finished his career with 191 home runs and 101 steals.
He’s one of only 21 players to total both 60 home runs and 60 stolen bases with the Dodgers, and he’s the only catcher of the group.
As a rookie in 2006, Martin hit the third of four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning on September 18 in The 4+1 Game.
The Dodgers non-tendered Martin after a hip injury in 2010, and he joined the Yankees as a free agent. Martin proved durable for the next decade, and finished his career with 1,579 games caught, ranking 27th in MLB history. Martin’s 701 games behind the plate are fourth-most by a Los Angeles Dodgers catcher.
His athleticism allowed him to play third base occasionally, starting 35 times at the hot corner in his career, and he also saw spot time at shortstop, second base, left field, and right field.
Martin made the playoffs in 10 of his 14 seasons, with the Dodgers, Yankees, Pirates, and Blue Jays. His home run in the 2012 wild card game for Pittsburgh, on the pitch after Johnny Cueto dropped the baseball amid a rocking PNC Park crowd, was an incredible moment.
After leaving the Dodgers, Martin made All-Star teams with the Yankees and Blue Jays. He finished his career hitting .248/.349/.397, a 104 wRC+.
Martin’s final season was a return engagement with the Dodgers in 2019, as the backup catcher. Though he also pitched four times that season, his first-ever appearances on the mound, totaling four scoreless innings. The Dodgers playfully included this fact in congratulating Martin on his retirement.
Since the start of 2006, Martin’s 38.8 Baseball-Reference WAR is third-most in the majors, trailing only Buster Posey and Yadier Molina.
“Now I’m excited to enter a new chapter,” the 39-year-old Martin said on Instagram. “I found a new passion in golf. That’s where I fulfill my competitive needs.”