This weekend, the Mariners planned a ceremony for Edgar Martinez, retiring his number 11.

It’s well deserved, to be sure. And it offers those of us outside of Seattle a chance to remember that Martinez was an incredible player whose career should have even more than a plaque in his home stadium.

In those absent moments through the winding paths of Baseball-Reference.com, there are a few common stops. Any number of ridiculous Pedro Martinez or Barry Bonds years, Bob Gibson in 1968 (28 complete games and a 268 ERA+), Jim Rice in 1978 (406 total bases, 163 games played), and so on.

A frequent stop is to check in on what Edgar Martinez pulled off in 1995, and how his insane final two months helped catapult the Mariners into the playoffs.

On Aug. 1, Seattle was 43-45, in third place in the four-team American League West and 12 games behind the California Angels. Martinez was already having an excellent season, but he accelerated in August, hitting .398 with absurd percentages — .560 on base, .786 slugging — along with nine home runs and 33 RBIs.

By Sept. 1, the Mariners were in second place and had cut the Angels' lead to 6.5 games. By the end of the year, they’d force a one-game playoff and beat the Angels, and a week later, he’d hit the game-winning double in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Yankees that sent Ken Griffey Jr. screaming across home plate.

It was a ridiculous singular moment, one that directly led to a successful vote to replace the Kingdome and keep the Mariners in Seattle. Martinez enjoyed a ridiculous career and deserves more honors than just this.

Right, he was a designated hitter. There are detractors who will argue that was completely irresponsible for his managers to make proper use of a rule that had been in place for nearly 15 years when he debuted in September 1987 and slot him in at DH. They should’ve kept him at third base, where he kept getting hurt. That would’ve been the “fair” thing to do.

Happily, that’s not reality. That 1995 season was the first where he played more games at DH than third, and it paid off in ridiculous fashion. He played in all 145 games (including Seattle’s one-game playoff against the Angels), led the league in runs (121), doubles (52), batting average (.356), on-base-percentage (.479) and OPS (1.107). Adjusted for the year, he had a 185 OPS+, which also led the league, and his 29 home runs, 113 RBIs and 182 hits weren’t bad either.

He also walked 116 times and only struck out 87. He never eclipsed 100 strikeouts in a season until his final year in 2004 as a 41-year-old. When the Mariners moved him to DH, those fantastic rate numbers he’d always put up actually improved over the course of a complete season. From 1989 to 1994, he hit .302, averaging 10 home runs and 101 games a season. Over the next seven seasons, those numbers jumped to .329 and 28 home runs a year. His OPS was 1.020 over that span.

The moral of the story here is that he could hit. He hit like a quiet maniac, and that he did so as a DH shouldn’t be an indictment of his abilities but a reflection of the reality of baseball. He was drafted by an American League team, and rather than let the pitcher hit, they put an extremely good hitter in that spot. Weird.

Part of his under-the-radar performance goes to his position, and another goes to his status outside of Seattle itself. To everyone west of Spokane, the Mariners were Griffey, then Alex Rodriguez, then Ichiro. They also had Randy Johnson mowing down hitters for much of Martinez’s tenure there. Even Jay Buhner got headlines for a couple of years. Martinez didn’t seek the spotlight and the spotlight didn’t find him. He just hit.

His perception may have been raised outside of the Pacific northwest by David Ortiz, who certainly didn’t mind the attention. Ortiz’s accomplishments have helped cast the DH in a better light — his performance was often astounding, and the fact that he was playing a position that old-timers didn’t think should be in the game seemed to matter less. As that goes, it offered a chance to rethink Martinez’s career.

Saturday’s honor is well-deserved. He wasn’t just a great player, but he was a career Mariner who helped cement baseball in his adopted city. He was a great player, though. And at his adopted position, he might be the best ever, and is certainly no worse than second best.

Eventually, a small museum group in upstate New York could recognize that. But Edgar Martinez’s accomplishments should not be up for debate.

Nick Tavares' column appears Sundays in The Standard-Times and at SouthCoastToday.com. He can be reached at nick@nicktavares.com