Highlights of Mike Martin roast

The roast of Mike Martin included a few zingers but it was more of a reflection of the man who built the Florida State baseball program into one of the most successful in the country.

Here are some highlights of comments from FSU officials, former players and Martin.

John Thrasher

I got to thinking when I was working on my remarks about the length of time and the number of presidents that Mike Martin has been through. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, maybe even a Washington or Lincoln. It’s been a long time.

I always know, I’ve learned from him, when he’s about to change pitchers. Because it’s usually one batter too late.

Bill Smith

I decided to tell you a few things you might not know about Mike Martin. … He has never been out on the ocean and not gotten sick. … He was the first basketball coach at TCC but they had no gym. They practiced and played at Leon High School … He kicks left-footed, writes right-handed and shoots a shotgun off his left shoulder. As former football coach Bill Peterson would say, he’s amphibious. … His initial salary at FSU was $2,000 a year … The best pitcher he faced in the minor leagues was Nolan Ryan.

Luis Alicea

Mike Martin shows me this beautiful brochure about Florida State baseball. You don’t know what life has for you in store. You never know. But I will tell you I looked at class, I looked at professionalism. Right there I said, ‘That’s where I want to go.’ But there were so many other problems. I didn’t speak a word of English.

Because of your understanding, teaching, my son just graduated. My older and son both graduated from Florida State. My son graduated last week with a master’s in engineering. … To all of my peers, to all of the people that came after me, it’s all because of this gentleman right here. … It’s been an amazing career. Don’t judge a person by a trophy because we are human trophies and that’s what he’s done. Yeah, it’s great to say ‘I’ve done this, I’ve done that.’ Those are dust collectors. But the human trophies are the ones we take with us for life. … Coach, I love you. And this is something that for me, for my family and for all of my friends that came after me, it was all because of you. You opened up the doors for that.

Tyler Holt

First game of regional, we lose to Bucknell 8-0. I batted ninth. Only time all year, 2008, that we got shut out. Press conference, I’m sitting there with 11, it takes a lot for a man to admit that he’s wrong. He ends the press conference with this: ‘Tyler Holt has been our leadoff man all year. He’ll hit leadoff the rest of the time that he’s here.’ He gets up, walks away. I slowly pull my chair out, I say, you’re dang right I’m going to hit leadoff the rest of the time I’m here.’

Eduardo Perez

Little did I know that at the time 11 was actually my ticket to the big leagues. … When I do have to do a Florida State game, I’m more nervous than you guys. It’s not only because of you, 11, but it’s the hirings, Chip (Baker) to Rod Delmonico to Jamey Shouppe, hiring Meat (Mike Martin Jr.). It takes vision, it takes courage.

Mike Martin

We will fight you for 27 outs. And we will continue to fight for the rest of this year and see what happens. … We know that you will take us as far as we can go. Thanks for one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Carol Martin

And if you haven’t seen it yet, this is worth four good minutes:


  1. Jerry Kutz

    Nice story Bob.
    Luis once told me a story about his freshman year when he and another Puerto Rican player weren’t doing what Martin demanded in the classroom.

    Neither of them spoke any English and Martin’s North Carolina twang made it all the more impossible to communicate. So Martin brought the two of them into an office and tried to illustrate his point on a chalkboard that he was going to send them home to the PR if they didn’t straighten out.

    He took a piece of chalk and drew something Alicea eventually figured out was the United States with an appendage they assumed must be Florida.

    Then Martin drew something that looked like a bird. The two players looked quizzically at one another trying to decide is it a bird or a plane… or superman.

    Then angrily Martin drew Africa and South America.

    And then he drew another continent even farther toward the bottom of the chalkboard, south of Africa.

    Finally, he drew a line that went from Florida through the bird or the plane and all the way to that continent south of Africa.

    Alicea said it took a while for Martin’s art work to sink in. With arms flailing Martin had made his point that he was going to send them back to Puerto Rico if they didn’t straighten out.

    Martin left the Puerto Ricans wondering this: Can a guy with such little knowledge of geography teach us anything about baseball.

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