Edgar Martinez has given Seattleites some memorable gifts over the years—18 stellar seasons with the Mariners; seven All-Star appearances; two batting titles; and of course "The Double," an 11th-inning hit that won the M's their first division crown in 1995 and may have saved Seattle baseball. But Martinez has given of himself even more generously off the field—supporting muscular dystrophy research, Overlake Hospital, and, most recently, students of color who want to become teachers.
Last year, Martinez and his wife, Holli, '08, launched the Martinez Foundation to help students of color through scholarships and grants. Soon thereafter, the foundation formed a unique partnership with the UW College of Education, Washington State University and Seattle University to encourage students from historically underrepresented groups to pursue master's degrees in teaching.
Following Edgar's retirement from baseball in 2004, he and Holli both came to the UW to complete their education. They say their desire to start the foundation grew directly out of what they learned at the UW about the persistence of racial inequities in education. "Edgar and I were very fortunate to continue our education, but not everyone has that choice," Holli says.
After years in the spotlight, Edgar and Holli are enjoying the opportunity to draw attention to something different: future teachers and their students. "Although baseball remains an important chapter in our lives," Edgar says, "we firmly believe education is the key to unlocking the door for better opportunities."—Carla Spaccarotelli