This past weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies‘ 2009 National League championship team reunited for the squad’s 10th anniversary celebration. Hall of Fame right-hander Pedro Martinez (who finished his 18-year career with the Phillies) was one of the many former players in attendance, and he even threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s game. As Martinez relived the Phillies’ run to the 2009 World Series — the Phillies fell to the Yankees in six games — he said members of the 2009 team were dealing with swine flu during the World Series.
“It wasn’t told, but most of us were sick,” Martinez told Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer of his Phillies teammates. “Some of the guys had swine flu and had to be kept away. I caught some of the virus. We would just never say it. When I got home, I realized that I was really sick.”
Martinez started two of the World Series games against the Yankees, Games 2 and 6. It was during Game 6, when he lasted just four innings and gave up four runs, that Martinez said he wasn’t feeling too great.
“I had a little bit of an asthma attack in the middle of the game and I was having a hard time breathing,” Martinez told Breen. “I was really sick. In any other situation, I wouldn’t be out there. But the team needed me. I held on as long as I could and I did that. I was really proud to have my last game with the Phillies at Yankee Stadium.”
Martinez wrapped up his 18-year MLB career with the Phillies that season. He pitched to a 3.63 ERA in nine starts with Philadelphia in the 2009 regular season before making three postseason appearances.