May 22, 2014 6:41 PM by Greg Smith
Chris Martin is one of the most promising pitchers in the Rockies organization. But a few years ago, he gave up baseball.
He was working at an appliance warehouse in Texas, stocking shelves and driving a forklift.
Well on his way to the majors, a torn right labrum ended his career-until one day his boss at Texas Appliance wanted to see if the kid still had it.
"He brought in his gloves and I kind of denied it and said 'nah,' I didn't want to play catch, like "nah, my shoulder will hurt," or whatever," said Martin. "And then, I ended up doing it anyway, so I was trying to make it painful on him, trying to hurt him to be honest, broke his catcher's mitt. I dented a couple of appliances in the background. I mean, it was fun."
After the impromptu bullpen session, Martin was surprisingly pain free in his right arm. He was encouraged to head to an independent tryout.
"It didn't hurt," said Martin. "I mean, I had no idea where the velocity and all of that stood. I really didn't think about it, and kind of got talked into going to a tryout and learned I was throwing into the mid 90's. I was pretty satisfied with that."
He skyrocketed back into the majors, and this time around, the twice drafted Martin has a newfound drive and appreciation for his time on the mound.
"I don't know if a chip on the shoulder is the right word," said Martin. "But I'm ready to go. I've got nerves; it's a new team, hopefully new expectations. New things to come.
At 6-foot-7, he's ideally suited for stocking shelves and pitching. Luckily for the Rockies, he chose the latter.
Martin spent the beginning of the year with the Sky Sox before being called up to the Rockies on April 25th. He was just sent back down to the Sky Sox on Tuesday when Michael Cuddyer was reactivated.