Pedro's charity gala helps Puerto Rico relief

Martinez redirects fundraising to help hurricane-damaged island

Pedro's charity gala helps Puerto Rico relief

BOSTON -- Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez gathered some of his best friends in baseball Friday night to raise money for the many people in Puerto Rico who have been inflicted with historic damage from two recent hurricanes.

The event -- the second annual Pedro Martinez Charity Gala -- was planned many months ago. But Martinez and his wife, Carolina, repurposed the direction the fundraising would take in light of the recent natural disasters.

"We have different goals that we wanted to achieve for this year [for the Pedro Martinez Charity] but watching what happened in Puerto Rico and the north part of the Dominican Republic and the demands we have, we thought it was important that we shifted our roots," said Martinez. "We focused on Puerto Rico to help out with Carlos Beltran and [Carlos] Correa and those guys who are doing so much and have always been so supportive of all of us."

David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero, Jason Varitek, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano were among the other past and current stars who attended Friday's fundraiser at a Boston hotel.

Puerto Rico remains at a crisis point from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, and the players were eager to help Martinez make a difference.

"Just don't lose the faith," Ortiz said to those suffering in Puerto Rico. "Things are going to get better. It's just a matter of time, I believe."

Martinez and Ortiz are both from the Dominican Republic and still spend a lot of time there, and it hurt them to see another island get hit with such force.

"Looking at Puerto Rico made us look differently because we are in the same path and it could have been in the Dominican Republic twice this year. It wasn't, but we decided that we wanted to help," Martinez said. "Watching Puerto Rico really hit me. It hit me really hard because I'm used to going to Puerto Rico and seeing the beautiful country and it's peaceful and nice, and to see the devastation is crazy. It's just crazy to think about."

Friday's event celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Pedro Martinez Charity.

"We really appreciate the support of all the players and all the people and all of New England for always being behind us and supporting us and we're looking forward to doing some more. I think this is a blessing to be able to through baseball do so much for society," Martinez said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.