Chris Martin is a pitcher for the Texas Rangers. but the journey to suit up for him hometown team is a long one.
After excelling at Arlington High School, he chose to play at McLennan Community College in Waco rather than signing with the Detroit Tigers who had drafted him.
A torn labrum in his second year at McLennan eventually led Martin to three years out of baseball.
“The shoulder just wasn’t bouncing back like it should”Martin said. “It was really sore the next day. Honestly, I couldn’t pick my arm up it hurt so bad. That was tough mentally. It was tough for time until I got lucky. One day it started feeling better, and that’s when I made my run.”
A run which started in 2010, and Martin signing with the Grand Prairie Airhogs managed by former Texas Rangers slugger Pete Incaviglia.
After a three-year stint in the minors with the Red Sox, Martin played in 40 games for the Rockies and Yankees the next two seasons.
With the door to a big league career seeming to be closing, Martin decided to go to Japan and play for the Nippon Ham Fighters.
“Obviously it was a culture shock at first,” he said. “You had to learn how the Japanese guys play a different style of baseball – small ball. it’s a little frustrating at times, but if you just give in and buy in to what they’re trying to do over there, they welcome you. It ended up being a good experience.”
In two seasons, he pitched in 92 games sporting a 1.12 ERA, catching the eyes of the Texas Rangers, who signed him to a 2-year deal.
“I just want to be a part of the team wherever they need me,” Martin said. “They want me to start, they want me to long relieve, that’s what i’m here for.”
To make the homecoming story even better, in December of 2016 he married a small town Texas girl from Windthorst. He says his wife, Danielle, a 3-time state volleyball champion, is the better athlete.
“I think the proof’s in the pudding,” Martin said. “You go up to the high school there and I think they call it the graveyard. You see all the stones they have with the state championships. Obviously, she’s a better athlete. She has way more than I do, which is zero for me.”
While in Japan, Chris and his newlywed created another chapter to this fairytale story – a daughter born just last month.