Thursday, September 6, 2007

Russell Martin Feature (FSN Airdate: July 2007)

This feature ran during "Dodgers Live" in July.

From calling a game, throwing out runners and doing damage at the plate, Russell Martin is “Mr. Everything” when it comes to the catcher position.

In less than two full seasons in the Major Leagues, he established himself as one of the elite catchers in the game and one of the more invaluable players on the Dodgers roster.

“It's not only with his play on the field,” said Dodgers Manager Grady Little. “This kid listens to everything you say so you better tell him right. He's going to listen and he's going to put it into force in his own game. He'll put it right into play.

“This kid is so much fun to watch play. He works hard everyday. I can't sit here and tell you enough about the kid, and I think the people around the country are recognizing his value.”

“Russell is very polished for 24,” said Mets and former Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca. “Not only does he have the talent, but he knows the game. He plays the game the right way, and he has the intensity that you want too. He's going to be a good player for a long time. “

And as of right now, he may be 'the' best in the National League behind the plate. He leads all catchers in hits, runs, RBI, stolen bases and games played. Statistics that are more than deserving of his starting spot in the All-Star Game.

“The other day I was driving by Santa Anita thinking about Seabiscuit and then I started thinking about Russell in the same breath. Because he was on the West Coast, nobody knew about that horse, but he turned out to be ok.

“This kid deserves anything he can get. And whatever support he can get from anyone is well deserved.”

Martin received that support thanks in part to new marketing campaign from the Dodgers which urged fans to vote as many times as they were allowed for their favorite backstop.

“It's not something you want to think about during the season too much. I mean we've got other things to think about, said Martin. “But definitely as a kid, that's one of the things you want to do. It's like a dream come true.

“It's kind of gratifying because you play hard everyday, and it just means that the fans appreciate the effort that you put out. It's just a pleasure to be put in with all the great names--all the great catchers that are out there today. It's a pleasure.”

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