MIAMI -- They were in full force down in the left-field seats at Marlins Park, waving signs and wearing Astros jerseys. The family and friends of Miami native J.D. Martinez, who hit the first home run in the history of the new ballpark on Friday, numbered 150 people on Saturday.
Mayra Martinez, J.D.'s mother, was directing traffic in the stands before the game, making sure everybody was sitting where they were supposed to be sitting. She said watching her son hit the first homer in the ballpark in their hometown was special.
"We were all thrilled," she said. "This has been such an emotional experience. This is what we wanted, and he's worked so hard for it, and we're very, very proud of that."
Martinez said playing a Major League game in his hometown was the thrill of a lifetime.
"I was just as nervous as I was in my first at-bat [in the Major Leagues], and I just had to calm down a little bit," he said. "I just was really excited about that one last night, because I knew what it meant. Everyone was telling me, 'You have a chance to do it.' It was really exciting."
The home run landed in a club area in left field, and Martinez wasn't able to retrieve it.
"I got a call today from a friend that says he knows the guy that caught the ball and wanted to know if I wanted to do some kind of trade for it," he said. "How do you know it's the real thing or not? I'm not really too into it. I don't care. It's more about the meaning of it."