When the 2021 Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame Banquet rolls around this year, Alliance’s Stan Martin will be amongst the names inducted.
“I look at all the people in the hall, major leaguers and minor leaguers and just regular people that played baseball here in Nebraska. It’s quite an honor to be in there with them,” Martin said.
Reflecting on his baseball career, Martin feels he has done enough to be a baseball great in the state of Nebraska.
“I’m not bragging, but I was a pretty good baseball player, so I think I am worthy to be in the hall,” Martin said.
Martin had a long baseball career that started out at a tryout camp in Kearney.
“I started in 1954. I went to the tryout camp in Kearney and there was a kid pitching, who was in AA ball, who was trying out there,” Martin said. “I got two doubles off of him, but what I didn’t know was there was a scout from the New York Yankees there. After the ball game, he asked me if I would be interested in signing a contract with the New York Yankees.”
Martin played in Bristol, Tennessee in the Appalachian league and after a successful season, was promoted to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1956. In 1957, Martin was promoted to Greensville, Texas where he had his best season yet, hitting 21 home runs.
Martin’s playing career had to be put on hold when the Army came calling however.
“The military took me out of college. I was getting ready to go to AAA spring training, and I got home and my dad told me I got a letter from the government. I knew what it was, and I was right. They told me I could wait until I graduated or go right then, and I decided to get it over with,” Martin said.
“I wish I waited until I graduated because some people didn’t have to go, and it did hurt my baseball career. It was hard batting against those pitchers; they’re fast and have lots of pitches. So if you get away from it for two years, it makes a difference and it definitely hurt me. But I’m proud to have served my country,”
After his time in the Army as an infantryman, Martin attempted to pick up his baseball career.
“I played in California and played in spring training, but they released me. But Johnny Johnson, who was in charge of operations for the Yankees at the time, told me that he would send me to aid ball up in Idaho in that league,” Martin said.
“My wife and I had just had a baby girl, so it was going to be hard for me to go. It was 400 dollars a month, so I had to finally opt out, went back to college and that was the end of my playing career.”
After his playing days were over, Martin went back to college and tried his hand at coaching.
“I coached at Mitchell for 12 years. I coached boys’ basketball and was an assistant coach for girls’ basketball, I had a summer program in baseball and I liked to help anyone and teach them the game of baseball. Because I had some really good teachers in the game of baseball Martin said.
The Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame banquet, where Martin will be inducted, will be Nov. 7.
Emanuel Casillas is a sports reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9047 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.