The Martinez Brothers: The Untold Baseball Story
of Talent, Tragedy, & Legacy
The Martinez Brothers: A Baseball Memoir
Discover the captivating story of the Martinez Brothers, Horacio, Julio, Aquiles, and Antonio - four incredibly talented professional baseball players from Santiago, Dominican Republic.
They played for legendary teams including the National Champions Santiago Águilas, General Trujillo, Licey Tigres, Escogido Leones, and Águilas Cibaeñas across the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. Horacio was a member of the 1947 Negro League Champions, the New York Cubans.
Follow their journey through triumph, tragedy, and the lasting legacy they left behind. This documentary will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, showcasing the power of talent, the impact of tragedy, and the enduring legacy of these remarkable brothers.
Members of the 1935 New York Cubans (Horacio Martinez, 2nd, Left to Right)
Help fund this great film
Martinez Béisbol Films is producing a documentary of four brothers who collectively played, coached, and scouted professional baseball starting in 1928 through 2001 in the Dominican Republic with their legacy extending into the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball, and Latin American leagues (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, and Panama). Your donation will enable us to film on-location and share these never-heard-before interviews with the world before these stories are lost to history forever. Please click the DONATE button above and give. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Black Pug Films records BROLL at the home of Linda Tossetti-Ruth, granddaughter of Babe Ruth. Ruth barnstormed with the Negro Leagues and faced Horacio Martinez and the New York Cubans at Dyckman Oval, New York City in an exhibition game on September 29, 1935, the same year Ruth retired. Horacio aka., "Rabbitt" is the first and only professional baseball player from the Dominican Republic to ever face the Great Bambino on a baseball diamond.
The Brothers' Journey
Martinez Béisbol Films is producing a documentary about four brothers who played professional baseball in the Dominican Republic from the 1930s and 1940s. Two brothers (Antonio & Aqulies) died in a tragic plane crash that killed the entire championship team from Santiago on January 11, 1948, shortly after their defeating the team owned by dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
The Santiago team players, coaches, doctors, reporters, and some family members board their plane after winning the National Championship on January 11, 1948. Except for catcher Enrique Lantigua, who had a premonition and drove instead, everyone onboard perished including Toñito Martínez, the catcher, and Aquiles Martínez, the second baseman. Julito Martínez, their youngest brother and the club’s teenage mascot, also escaped because his own team had scheduled a game.
Unveiling the Untold Stories
The youngest of the siblings, Julio "Julito" Martinez, later joined the very team that was rebuilt after the tragedy, dedicating five decades of his life to baseball as a player, coach, and mentor.
Julio was a member of the 1952 Águilas Cibaeñas team that won their first of 22 national championship games. His number 29 was retired after an amazing 50-year career as an all-star player and beloved coach who was regarded as a great instructor with ample capacity to teach the game to new Águilas Cibaeñas players. He also scouted for MLB's Pittsburg Pirates. A life-size statue of him and other legendary players stands tall at the Plazoleta a las Águilas Cibaeñas at the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration in Santiago, D.R. today.
His oldest brother, Horacio "Rabbit" Martinez was recruited by the Negro League's New York Cubans in the States. Despite his amazing talent and interest from the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Washington Senators, he didn't get signed by Major League Baseball due to his skin color but he became an invaluable MLB scout (bird dog) for the New York / San Francisco Giants.
Horacio discovered several hall-of-fame players including Felipe Alou and Juan Marichal, to name a few, and helped them transition into life in the U.S. Although he co-created the talent pipeline from the Dominican Republic into MLB and was selected in 2005 as a Negro League candidate for consideration for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he was not inducted in the 2006 election.
Nevertheless, the players he helped transition into the MLB after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, considered Horacio a father figure and mentor. Together, they transformed their lives, their communities, and the sport of baseball forever.
Plazoleta a las Águilas Cibaeñas in Santiago, D.R.
Horacio “Rabbit” Martinez played shortstop for the New York Cubans in the 1940s. Photo Credit: Negro League Beisbol Museum.
About Martinez Béisbol Films
Martinez Béisbol Films is dedicated to producing a compelling documentary that showcases the remarkable lives of the Martinez Brothers. Through their story, we aim to shed light on the challenges faced by professional Afro-Latino and Negro baseball players and honor the legacy of these extraordinary individuals.
Tony Peña, manager of the Águilas Cibaeñas, based in Santiago, Dominican Republic, celebrates the series sweep over Licey Tigres during the historic "Titanes del Caribe" three-game exhibition at Citifield in November 2023. Before the Águilas, Peña was the first base coach for the New York Yankees, managed the Kansas City Royals, and is a four-time MLB Gold Glove winner who was a catcher for the Pittsburgh, Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Houston Astros. He was first signed by Julio Martinez, one of the Martinez Brothers, to play professional baseball with Águilas Cibaeñas before joining Major League Baseball.
Get an exclusive look into the making of Martinez Brothers: The Untold Baseball Story of Talent, Tragedy, & Legacy'. Explore the behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with original players, surviving family members, and historians. Learn of the challenges we faced during production. Dive deeper into the untold stories that shaped this captivating documentary.
Do you know someome we should interview or are you interested in learning more about our documentary? Please fill out the contact form below and we'll contact you.
Danae Tjionas is ready for the big leagues during the historic Titanes Del Caribe series between Águilas Cibaeñas and Tigres Del Licey at CitiField, Flushing, NY in November 2023. The Martinez Brothers played for both teams and they are featured in the documentary.