For former pitcher Pedro Martinez, seeing a portrait of himself that went on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery today was “tough.” Yankees? Piece of cake by comparison.
“I cannot really express with words how much joy I feel right now,” Martinez, a three-time Cy Young award winner, said during the dedication ceremony today. “I’ve been in tough games...really, really tough games, but I’ve never felt this much emotion in any of the games as I’m feeling right now.”
The oil painting was a gift from ESPN’s baseball analyst Peter Gammons and his wife, who purchased it for $35,000 and was painted by Susan Miller-Havens of Cambridge, Mass.
Called “El Orgullo y la Determinación” (Pride and Determination), the painting is 57 inches by 21 inches. “What first interested me in painting Pedro was the fact that he had been told that because he was so small he was never going to last and he was never going to be a power pitcher,” Miller-Havens told boston.com last month. “Hence, the title.”
Another of Miller-Havens’ works, this time the subject was Carlton Fisk, also is on display in the NPG. She also has painted Don Zimmer, the former Red Sox manager and Yankees coach who famously tangled with Martinez during an American League Championship Series game in 2003.
“I painted that way before the incident,” she said. “I thought Zimmer was a very funny-looking character. Look at him. I just thought it was hysterical. I’m no fan of Zimmer.”
And Martinez? “He’s a sweetie pie.”