Born Morris Webster Martin in Dixon, Mo., he met his wife, the former Leona Kleekamp on furlough during World War II. They made their home in Washington, Mo. He is buried in St. Francis Borgia Cemetery.
Morrie “Lefty” Martin appeared in 250 baseball games between 1949 and 1959, 42 of those appearances being in the role of starting pitcher. His first season was with the Brooklyn Dodgers, making him teammate to Jackie Robinson and a player under Branch Rickey, one of the most important historical figures in baseball history.
Martin moved to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1951 and played for Connie Mack, who is widely considered to be the greatest manager in baseball history. Martin was traded during the 1954 season to the Chicago White Sox and stayed there until another mid-season move in 1956 to the Baltimore Orioles.
In 1957 and 1958 he pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1958 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. His final season, 1959, was spent with the Chicago Cubs. Pitching mostly in relief, Martin won 38 games against 34 losses and posted a career 4.29 ERA.
Interestingly, Martin went head-to-head with Satchel Paige— one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history— on three separate occasions and bested him in two of the three outings.
St. Louis Browns at Philadelphia Athletics, July 26, 1951
Philadelphia Athletics 6, St. Louis Browns 4
Morrie Martin started the game and pitched six innings. In the fourth inning, with two outs, Martin hit a single to drive in a run. He scored the tying run in the same inning to bring the score to 2-2. Martin left the game after the sixth inning with the A’s trailing 5-2. Satchel Paige came into the game in relief during the ninth inning for the St. Louis Browns to record a save.
St. Louis Browns at Philadelphia Athletics, June 26, 1953
Philadelphia Athletics 6, St. Louis Browns 5
Morrie Martin entered the game in relief during the eighth inning, the opposing pitcher at the time being Satchel Paige, who had come into the game in relief in the seventh inning. Martin held the Browns scoreless for four outs (including a strikeout) to record a win.
Philadelphia Athletics at St. Louis Browns, July 23, 1953
Philadelphia Athletics 7, St. Louis Browns 4
Morrie Martin entered the game in relief during the seventh inning, and Satchel Paige entered the game in the eighth inning. Both Martin and Paige remained on the mound and pitched scoreless baseball for six innings. In the top of the 14th inning the Athletics scored three runs on Paige. Martin then blanked the Browns in the bottom of the inning (including a strikeout of the final batter) to pick up the win.