The St. Louis Cardinals’ José Martínez was never going to have a say in what his nickname would be.
As the son of the late former major leaguer Carlos “Café” Martínez, he was destined to be “Cafecito.”
The Cardinals’ backup outfielder/first baseman’s grandfather, Jose Martinez Sr., nicknamed all his kids Cafe, which also translates to coffee in the Venezuelan slugger’s native Spanish. So, naturally, the little Cafes would be Cafecitos.
“I am a lot like my dad, so the name stuck,” the younger Martinez said.
When Martínez wanted to give back to society, he knew it had to involve coffee.
So Martínez partnered with Primos Coffee Company to produce a line of coffee, “Cafecito #38”. The bag displays his jersey number 38, his signature and a silhouette of a batter.
“(Primos) grows coffee in Nicaragua, (and) we’re trying to give them a good name,” Martínez said. “Especially since the world calls me ‘Café.’ I thought it was a good idea.”
What he’s doing with the proceeds of the coffee sales is an even better idea.
“When we look at the sales at the end of the year, 50- to 75-percent of that will go to children’s hospitals,” Martínez said.
Martínez wasn’t asked to do this. He didn’t have to donate as much of the proceeds. It was his own doing.
“I always make decisions on my own,” Martínez said. “No one tells me ‘Hey, you should do this or that.’”
To that end, that’s why he wanted his own line of coffee. As he taped up his bats before the Cardinals’ season opener at Miller Park in Milwaukee, he shared affection for coffee.
“I already have had two (cups),” Martínez said with a laugh before the afternoon start. “I love coffee in any form. With milk, black, a cappuccino, any style. I tell people, ‘If I don’t have a cup of coffee in the morning it won’t be a good day.’”
Cafecito #38 is available for purchase on Primos’ website, but Martínez didn’t have any for his teammates in the clubhouse.
“Everyone’s asking me about it, but not yet,” Martínez said.
He hopes to have the coffee in the clubhouse when the Cardinals have their home opener Thursday against the Padres.
“We’re starting the making of it, the distribution of it, so therefore we can have it there in St. Louis,” Martínez said.
The man who needs coffee to have a good day, Cafecito #38 could be a catalyst to the Cardinals’ season.
At least, it will be a catalyst for children in need.
“That’s the most important thing,” Martínez said. “If you have the opportunity to help, children are the ones most affected by all situations.”
Featured Image: Daniel Shirey / Getty Images Sport