Regardless of age, Dodgers fans seem to have a soft spot for catcher Russell Martin. Even before he signed with the Dodgers for his last MLB season, he was already a fan favorite. He played five seasons in Los Angeles before signing with the New York Yankees. Martin would go on to play for the Pirates and Blue Jays before his swan song.
The Dodgers backstop officially retired earlier this year after not playing for the previous two MLB seasons. However, that doesn't mean that he still isn't in the news. He started his own line of hard seltzers (Cruise) and this week, he was in Toronto being honored by the Blue Jays with a special jersey. The jersey was apparently a bit of a surprise for Martin.
The Blue Jays announced a baseball Canada award and amateur clinic honoring the four-time All-Star. Baseball Canada's Junior National Team Most Valuable Player Award will now be the Russell Martin Award. Honestly, it's a great moment and homage to the Dodgers 17th round pick in the 2002 draft.
Martin helped usher in a new era of success for a Dodgers franchise that won just one playoff game between 1988 and 2004 - thanks to the late Jose Lima.
Russell earned back-to-back All-Star nods in 2007 and 2008 and was a key member of Dodgers teams that made back-to-back NLCS in 2008 and 2009.
The gritty catcher may be done playing baseball, but he's still making an impact on the game that he played with a heart and passion that endeared him to Dodgers fans.