Everybody has a favorite memory of watching Pedro Martinez pitch. Mine is about the time he nearly helped us name a baby.
In 2000, while working in New York, I picked up three tickets for the Red Sox-Yankees game on May 28. My sister and her new husband were coming from Boston to visit. To our delight, the matchup proved to be Pedro against Roger Clemens.
Yankee Stadium was packed, and both aces were at their best, the game scoreless through eight innings. Our seats were in the upper deck in left field and the stands were full of Dominicans waving flags and chanting as Martinez dominated the Yankees and Clemens the Red Sox.
My sister was six months pregnant, and as the tension mounted, we joked that if the Red Sox won the game, we would name the baby for the player responsible.
Jeff Frye singled with two outs in the ninth inning before Trot Nixon belted a home run to right-center.
“Baby Trot!” yelled Dave, my brother-in-law, as Nixon rounded the bases pumping his fist.
Pedro came back out for the bottom of the ninth and loaded the bases with two outs. With the crowd roaring, he got Tino Martinez to ground out on a close play, and the Sox had a 2-0 victory.
Pedro beat the Rocket. It was the best game any of us had seen in person.
In the months that followed, we referred to the baby as “Trot,” much to the chagrin of my mom.
In August, Karen had a baby girl. Leah is 14 now and rolls her eyes when we tell that story. But had she been a boy . . .