Pedro Martinez enters the Hall of Fame on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez on ESPN's Colin Cowherd: 'I'm sorry, he's not going to talk to me'

John Tomase
July 25, 2015 - 7:24 pm

Pedro Martinez received enough of an education in the Dominican to realize he's not wasting his time with Colin Cowherd. The former ESPN radio host was let go by the network on Friday, one day after questioning the intelligence of Dominican baseball players to make a point about baseball's relative lack of complexity. Martinez, one of the most well-spoken bilingual superstars in the game's history, told reporters in Cooperstown on Saturday that he's proud of where he came from and that Cowherd spoke from a place of ignorance. "It's only going to be an insult to anyone that falls to that level," Martinez said. "I'm not at that level. I'm dealing here with polite people, people that understand human rights, people who understand who we are and these are the people I'm paying attention to. "That person, I don't even know, I never heard of him, I don't want to know him. I want to know the people that represent something, that mean something to us, the people that understand how we can get better. Yes, we are a Third World country. Yes, we don't have the resources to be more educated, but you know what? Every once in a while you're going to get one like me, that's not afraid to face you guys, to tell you how educated or uneducated I am, how proud I am of becoming who I am. We're not going to stop and go back to probably the third world country that we were 30 years ago. We want to go forward, we're looking forward." Speaking one day before his Hall of Fame induction on Sunday, Martinez invoked the name of one of baseball's great humanitarians. "I want to look up to you guys, the voters, the seniors who are here, the Hall of Famers who are here, and hopefully set the bar high like Roberto Clemente did," he said. "I want to set the bar high for every other players that's coming from my country, and not only that, but the human beings that are coming over. I hope that we get people in the government, I hope that we grow to be a power. Thirty percent of the Dominicans in the government, in the industry, all over '€“ we don't want to look down to the people who don't know, who are probably less educated than the people he's trying to mention. No, we don't want to fall to that category. We are way up here '€“ Hall of Fame starters. That's where he needs to get. If he can't get here, I'm sorry, he's not going to talk to me." The subject means a lot to Martinez, because he considered himself an ambassador not just for the game, but for his home country when he was playing. And he takes particular pride in helping bridge a racial divide in Boston, too. "I just want to say, whatever I am doing, I didn't do it for Pedro," he said. "I didn'€™t do it to get the credit as an individual. I think we all chipped in through the years. Luis Tiant. We have to think about Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente set that bar really high for all of us. Guys like Luis Tiant, Jim Rice and those guys that were able to mix in in Boston and remain in Boston actually took the first steps. "But guess what? That'€™s what we were supposed to do. We did not overachieve anything. We did what we were supposed to do as ballplayers and representatives of baseball and different countries. We did what we're supposed to do. I don't want any of that to go on my resume. I'd like to be remembered as someone who chipped in and brought hope to those people. I'm glad I was the bridge to have every culture mixed in at Fenway Park. I'm extremely honored to have done that, but I was only doing what I was supposed to do. And that'€™s what we all need to do '€“ we need to chip in and be contributors to better relationships and use baseball if we have to as a bridge to get everybody together."