Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte has received a lot more attention in the 2023 World Series for good reason. Still, Diamondback fans and others who have seen him play know that his stardom should not be new. Marte has been playing like a superstar for a while now.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Marte has oscillated between center field and second base throughout his career. As a Diamondback he’s seen his star rise as he led the league in triples in 2018 and was fourth in MVP voting in 2019 when he also made his first All-Star team. He has been a fan favorite since his arrival, and only injuries have kept him from being a household name.
After the Diamondbacks shocked the Los Angeles Dodgers by sweeping them in three games, Marte led his team to a National League Championship Series over the Philadelphia Phillies. He won the MVP of the series after slashing .387/.406/.581, but no hit was more significant than his walk-off single in Game 3.
Had the Diamondbacks not won Game 3, they would have been down 3-0 in the series, a place where only one team has ever come back from. In the 2023 World Series, Marte has not slowed down. With his hit in Game 2, he set a new MLB record for the longest hitting streak in postseason history at 18 games.
MLB fans know of the moniker “Mr. October,” initially given to New York Yankees star Reggie Jackson back in the 70s, but now Marte’s heroics have slowly given rise to a new nickname.
Baseball is a team game, however, and ‘Señor Octubre’ has largely shrugged off the hitting streak and put the onus on his team and his focus on winning a championship.
What I’m focused on,” Marte said, “is winning. We have a great team, great batters. This organization deserves a championship now. And we believe in ourselves.”
Marte and the Diamondbacks may be focused on winning, but for many fans in the Latino baseball community, Marte’s performance gives them something else to be proud of and to root for. Señor Octubre, indeed.