Pedro Martinez: Who's your Mama?

The Guru
Contributing Writer

It's been almost ten years since a certain band of "idiots" pulled off the greatest comeback in Boston sports history. The shot swilling players from that 2004 World Series Championship team like Johnny Damon, Curt Shilling, Kevin Millar and hey, even Mark Bellhorn will never, as the old saying goes, have to buy a drink in this town again. Turns out they weren't even buying then.

Former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, speaking to Sports on Earth at a legends game in Rochester, N.Y. Saturday, revealed there was more to the team's 2004 World Series run than breaking curses, bloody socks and Kentucky bourbon. In fact it wasn't powered by Jack Daniels at all.

“We took a shot of Mama Juana every single game, before the game,” Martinez said.
“We call it Mama Juana. It’s made of roots and latin rum.”

Pedro's story is a little different from the one Millar told in 2004. According to Martinez, the team began taking shots of Mama Juana before Game 4's must win against the Yankees in the ALCS. After the team's thrilling 12-inning win, the Sox kept it up. The rest is history.

“Everybody took a little bit from the top of the shot after we won the first game,” Martinez said. “Somebody did it before the game —it was Ellis Burks who wasn’t on the roster at the time who took the first shot. And then Millar jumped in. And then Johnny Damon jumped in. And everybody started jumping in, so we did it as a team unity to actually keep the same tradition going for the team. So we had to do it for the four games we beat the Yankees."

Vintage Pedro.

“We started when we were down 3-0,” Martinez continued. “And Ellis decided to taste it to see what it tastes like, then Millar wants to taste it and everybody wants to taste it so we all do it. And the hell with it. And we ended up winning.”

Curse vanquished.

Retired since 2009, Pedro is back in the Red Sox organization as a special assistant to GM Ben Cherington. Martinez says he’s thrilled to be back with the team and city that defined his Hall of Fame career.

“When you mention Boston, it’s the B. It’s the Red Sox,” Martinez said as he pointed to the Red Sox “B” on his cap. “The Patriots can do well, the Bruins, the Celtics, everybody can do well but the only ones that get mentioned 24/7 is the Red Sox."

Pedro, this one is on us. ¡Salud!

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