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Pedro Martinez, portrait presentation ceremony, National Portrait Gallery

Pedro Martinez, portrait presentation ceremony, National Portrait Gallery, March 25, 2011. Portrait by artist Susan Miller-Havens. The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has recently acquired a painting of Pedro Martinez; this is the first image of the Major League Baseball pitcher in the collection. The museum installed the portrait on March 25,2011 in its "Recent Acquisitions" exhibition. The archived webcast of the presentaton ceremony can be viewed here. Born in the Dominican Republic and an American citizen since 2006, Martinez was impressive in his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers in September 1992. He had been told that he was too small to be a major-league power pitcher, yet from his first appearance he consistently overpowered the best hitters in the world. Martinez won three Cy Young Awards (1997, 1999, 2000) in a span of four seasons and to date has a record of 219 wins and only 100 losses. In 2000, the very heart of the home-run/steroid era, he had an earned-run average of 1.74—more than three runs a game less than the American League average; he allowed only seventeen home runs in 217 innings pitched. Martinez will always be remembered for the seven-year period when he established, in the words of baseball commentator Peter Gammons, "the most dominant stretch of any pitcher in baseball history." He is an eight-time All Star who has pitched for five teams in his career, most recently with the Philadelphia Phillies. In addition, Martinez was a member of the World Series--winning Boston Red Sox in 2004, the first Red Sox team to win a championship in eighty-six years. "We are thrilled to include this portrait of Pedro Martinez in the National Portrait Gallery's collection," said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. "Martinez is widely recognized as one of the great Major League Baseball pitchers who also is concerned for the well-being of his larger community." The portrait was created by Susan Miller-Havens in 2000 with oil and beeswax on Baltic birch, and measures 57 inches by 21 inches. Miller-Havens is a contemporary American painter who has depicted a number of prominent athletes, in addition to creating other figurative pieces. This is the second of three portraits of Martinez that she created in her Cambridge, Massachusetts, studio. Miller-Havens titled this portrait El Orgullo y Determinaci?n (Pride and Determination) as a statement of Martinez's accomplishment in overcoming obstacles and becoming one of the most dominant pitchers of baseball's modern era. The Portrait Gallery's collection includes another painting by the artist of former Major League Baseball catcher Carlton Fisk. The portrait of Martinez is a gift to the museum from Gloria Trowbridge Gammons and Peter Warren Gammons in honor of Martinez, whose baseball career is paralleled by his lifelong work promoting educational opportunities for less fortunate children in America and his own Dominican Republic.
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