Edgar Martinez and Mariners fans show their mutual love as No. 11 is retired

His introduction was greeted with a roar and a continuous standing ovation as he walked in from center field to the infield area, carefully waving to all parts of the crowd celebrating with him.

For a moment, in the serenading cheers of Ed-gaaaar, Ed-gaaar, Ed-gaaaar, it brought people back there again. Back to a time when the lines at the edges of his eyes only appeared when he offered up that easy smile, usually with a bat in his hand or nearby.

The sold-out crowd at Safeco Field, there to see Edgar Martinez’s jersey retired, made it feel like 2001 again on Saturday night — the place to be in Seattle on a warm summer night.

And as the Mariners’ big screen played highlights of that magnificent swing that couldn’t be imitated in its simplicity or the results it produced — hands held high, making the bat wave ominously but staying in the strike zone longer than anyone else — people wanted to live in that uncomplicated moment forever.

Seeing the repetitive pasting of baseballs into the gap in right-center, all line drives, all uncatchable, it evoked emotion-filled memories that made skin tingle and bodies pulse.

His introduction was greeted with a roar and a continuous standing ovation as he walked in from center field to the infield area, carefully waving to all parts of the crowd celebrating with him.

There have been players with more talent and better numbers in baseball, but the meaning of Edgar Martinez to the Seattle Mariners isn’t easily explained. And Mariners fans don’t feel the need to justify their devotion to the man that delivered the double that saved baseball in Seattle in 1995 and stayed well beyond.

The organization, the only one that Martinez ever played for, spared no expense in honoring its current hitting coach and franchise icon. From the plane circling Safeco Field pregame with a No. 11 flag…

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