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January 24. 2013 8:35PM

Pedro Martinez rejoins Sox as special assistant

Former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, whose virtuoso performances and colorful personality made him one of the most beloved pitchers in franchise history, rejoined the team on Thursday as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Martinez spent seven seasons with Boston and helped lead the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title. In his final game with Boston, he worked seven scoreless innings to defeat the Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series.

"We are very excited to have Pedro on board with us and back in the Red Sox organization," Cherington said. "He was one of the game's most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season."

Martinez, eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2014, played for 18 seasons in the majors, posting a record of 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. The 5-foot-10 righty from the Dominican Republic racked up 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827.1 career innings. Among pitchers with at least 2,500 career innings in the majors, only Nolan Ryan (.204) has a lower opponent batting average than Martinez (.214).

"I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love," Martinez said. "Ben Cherington's meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can."

As a member of the Red Sox, Martinez went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and posted the best winning percentage (.760) in franchise history. Among all Dominican-born pitchers, Martinez has the highest winning percentage, most strikeouts, and ranks second only to Hall of Famer Juan Marichal in both wins and ERA.

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