Where Are They Now? Tippy Martinez

Occasionally we run into former Oriole players as we gallivant around Baltimore.  We’ve run into some great ball players and we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with people we wished never dawned the uniform.  Here’s your chance to see what they’ve been up to.  The first edition is a quick interview with Tippy Martinez.tippy

Recently I was walking through the Highlandtown area as part of my Orioles neighborhood watch initiative.  Basically, we let people that are “new in town” know that in America, it is a custom, to wear clothing that supports your hometown sports teams.  You’d be surprised how often you see people wearing Yankee gear but have no idea who the Yankee’s are.

Anyway, after several failed conversations I grew tired of pretending I knew Spanish, so I slipped into the closest Taquerita to grab some refreshments.  Sitting at a table signing autographs, was Tippy Martinez.

me:  Hola Tippy!  Grande fan.  Buenos Dias?

Tippy:  Hi there, how can I help you?

me:  Que?

Tippy:  If you want to order something just go up to the counter.

me:  I’m confused.  Why aren’t you speaking Spanish?

Tippy:  Because, I’m American.

me:  Hey man, I’m not with the government, it’s cool.

Tippy:  I was born in Colorado, look are you going to order something or not?  I’ve got more checks to sign if I’m going to get out of here at a decent hour today.

me:  Why are you signing checks?  Can I have one?

Tippy:  I own this place and no, they are not autographs.

me:  Well, technically you’re signing something and your famous so…it’s an autograph.  Society tells me I should desire random objects that famous people wrote their name on so we’re kind of at a crossroads here.

Tippy:  No we’re not.  You can’t have one.

me:  (staring at Tippy)

Tippy:  (staring back with a little hint of stink eye)

me:  Alright…moving on.  So, how’s life been since picking off three people in one inning?

Tippy:  For starters, I played 5 more years after that particular game.

me:  Really?

Tippy: (to man behind counter) Get this guy a burrito so he will get out of here.

me:  (to man behind counter)  And a can of nectar, and one of those things he was signing.

Tippy:  NO! I told you, they are not autographs!

me:  Do you really want to go down that road again?

Tippy:  (staring at me)

me:  (making goofy faces at him)  Ahh.  You blinked.  I win.

Tippy:  I’m done with this.  (Walks into the back)

me:  Come on man, don’t be a sore loser.  Tippy.

It was at about this point that I started to feel like the interview wasn’t going well.  I took my refreshments and an autographed picture of Tippy hanging on a corkboard next to the list of today’s specials.  Talk about vain.  Also, they say don’t drink the water, but I say don’t drink the nectar either.  It’s gross.


I was happy to see Tippy but I was even happier that I beat a former professional athlete in a physical competition.

~Kevin Lomax


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