Wrigley HR a stirring moment for Martini, family

A's outfielder, a native of nearby Crystal Lake, goes deep in return to hometown

August 6th, 2019

CHICAGO -- Growing up in nearby Crystal Lake, A’s outfielder dreamed of playing at Wrigley Field. Finally getting that chance, he wasted no time making his first game there one to remember.

Entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Cubs, Martini engaged in an 11-pitch battle with Steve Cishek that ultimately resulted in a two-run blast that sailed well into the right-field bleachers.

“I don’t know if I could have planned it any better than that,” said Martini, who also recorded his first big league hit in Chicago, on the South Side against the White Sox last year. “It was a special moment, to do that in front of all my friends and family, for sure.”

While Martini rounded the bases, a large contingent of family and friends sitting in the left-field bleachers, most of them wearing Martini jerseys, went absolutely bonkers. He didn't see the reaction of the group, but he had an idea about how it all went down.

“I’m sure they were going nuts,” Martini said. “I came here a lot growing up, so it was a cool moment, and it’ll be cool to share it with them.”

It was the perfect homecoming for Martini, who spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization before earning a Major League callup last year with the A’s at the age of 28.

“I saw his family going crazy,” A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt said. “I know it was a special moment for him. It was exciting, and we’re all happy for him.”

The home run was the second of his career, but this one made a much bigger impact. His first Major League big fly came off Angels catcher Francisco Arcia in a blowout last season, but this one ignited a three-run rally that made it a one-run game.

“I was just happy enough that I could put a good at-bat together and get something going,” Martini said. “It’s a good momentum-builder going into tomorrow.”