So he went out and did the next best thing.
"I got tears coming out when I see Pedro talking because I know the man. I know everything he went through in his career," Ortiz said after hitting a pair of two-run homers and adding an RBI single for a career-high seven-RBI night that led the Boston Red Sox to an 11-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night.
"Pedro is the most unbelievable human being that I've even been around. ... Pedro, man, that man is special."
It is likely that someday Ortiz, the greatest power-hitting designated hitter of all time, will join Martinez and Juan Marichal as Dominicans in the Hall. But for now, at age 39, he just keeps building up his numbers.
On Sunday, the seven RBIs allowed him to pass Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Al Kaline and Harmon Killebrew to take sole possession of 38th place on the all-time list. Ortiz has been great for much of this season, and his last-place team has been worse, but he has 19 homers and 54 RBIs.
"It may have inspired him somewhat to see a close friend of his be honored in the way he was," Red Sox manager Jon Farrell said. "Whether or not that's the root of tonight, I'm sure there was some positive effect. ... But you look back over the last probably six, seven weeks and David has swung the bat extremely well."
Boston rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, rebounding from a dreadful performance against the Angels in Anaheim on July 20, pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing a long home run to third baseman Nick Castellanos and two singles. Relievers Robbie Ross Jr. and Alexi Ogando completed the three-hitter.
Rodriguez improved to 6-3 with a 4.26 ERA overall but is a major-league-best 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA in night games.
The Red Sox stroked a season-high 20 hits, including four each by Ortiz and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, to take the deciding game of the three-game series.
Ortiz snapped a 1-1 tie with a three-run shot off Shane Greene (4-8) in a four-run fifth inning. The Red Sox then scored three in the sixth, one driven in by Ortiz.
In the seventh, Ortiz hit a three-run homer off reliever Neftali Feliz that almost hit the ESPN announcing crew working the game from atop the Green Monster. It was the 48th multi-homer game of Ortiz's career, but his first this season.
First baseman Mike Napoli drove in two runs for Boston.
Castellanos' 10th homer of the year was his second in as many days.
The loss kept the struggling Tigers (48-50) from getting back to the .500 mark.
"I mean, there's really not much to say -- they beat the (stuffing) out of us," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "They hit. We didn't pitch, we didn't hit. That's usually a recipe for a loss."
Asked about Ortiz, Ausmus said, "I don't know if he's slowing down or not, but he was fine tonight. He looked like David Ortiz of the last 15 years."
Boston second baseman Brock Holt went 2-for-3 but hurt his left knee rounding first on a first-inning single. He stayed in the game through the fifth inning before leaving. The injury is not believed to be serious.
Greene, who started the season by winning his first three starts and allowing one run in 23 innings but has been to the minors since then, hasn't won a major league game since May 15.
He was fine at the start. "Nothing changed," he said. "I made a mistake to one of the best left-handed hitters in the game and I paid for it."
Greene wound up allowing five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
NOTES: Bo McKinnis, the agent for potential free agent LHP David Price, told MLB Radio that he talked contract with the Tigers during the season. However, he didn't sound optimistic about his client staying with the club and is unsure what Detroit will do with Price by Friday's non-waiver trade deadline. ... The Tigers recalled LHP Kyle Ryan from Triple-A Toledo and demoted INF Marc Krauss. Ryan relieved Sunday and gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings. ... The Red Sox selected the contract of INF Jemile Weeks from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Noe Ramirez. Weeks replaced injured 2B Brock Holt and went 1-for-2. ... The Red Sox broadcast Pedro Martinez's Hall of Fame speech for the fans before the game and will retire his No. 45 prior to Tuesday night's game. ... RHP Anibal Sanchez, 7-0 in his past eight starts, opens the Tigers' three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday. ... The Red Sox send RHP Joe Kelly out Monday in the opener of a four-game set against the visiting Chicago White Sox.