Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues by Matt Tavares

Published by Candlewick

In honor of Opening Day at Fenway Park!

Summary:  The book opens with this 1998 quote from Pedro Martinez: “Ramon is the biggest reason I have gotten where I am.  He is the great one in this family.  I am still Ramon’s little brother.”  Tavares then relates the story not only of pitching great Pedro Martinez, but of his older brother Ramon, also an MLB player, who inspired Pedro to work as hard as he did.  Growing up in poverty in the Dominican Republic, the brothers dreamed of playing professional baseball.  When Pedro was 12, his brother began his pro career training at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dominican academy.  Pedro tagged along and learned alongside Ramon.  Eight years later, both of them were playing in Los Angeles.  Pedro went on to a legendary career, including leading the Red Sox to a World Series victory in 2004, but his ties to his brother and his home in the Dominican Republic remain strong.

Pros:  Add this to Matt Tavares’ list of great baseball biographies, along with Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams.  Sports fans will be inspired by the brothers’ rags-to-riches story and will enjoy the large, vivid illustrations.

Cons:  It would be interesting to know more about what Pedro and Ramon are doing now via the author’s note.

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