A quintessential journeyman, the versatile Martinez was coveted for his ability to play all three outfield positions and first base well, and hit decently when called upon. But despite his dependability as a fourth outfielder and situational player as well as his knack for changing uniforms mid-season, Martinez never found himself with a contender. At the turn of the century, the 5'10" New Yorker led active players in the fight for futility, having gone 1,799 games without reaching the postseason. Along with bouncing between nine teams in sixteen years, Martinez tied the dubious record of playing for four teams in one year.
Martinez's career started auspiciously, if unremarkably, when he batted .292 as a Chicago Cubs rookie and fan favorite in 1987. But the Cubs felt that he wasn't selective enough at the plate nor aggressive enough on the basepaths, and in July 1988, he was headed for the Montreal Expos, swapped for rival centerfielder Mitch Webster.
Martinez never found himself as a concrete part of an everyday lineup, though he did play in the majority of games each year. Platooning in Montreal with light-hitting Otis Nixon and then Marquis Grissom, he did a decent job over three years' worth of limited time, stealing 52 bases and contributing 108 RBIs for the club.
In search of a steady, durable outfielder that could back up rookie Reggie Sanders, the Cincinnati