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Former IF Carlos Martinez dies at 40

Former IF Carlos Martinez dies at 40

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- Carlos Martinez, who played seven Major League seasons, died on Tuesday at his home in Venezuela at age 40, his wife said.

Martinez, an infielder for the White Sox, Indians and Angels from 1988-93 and 1995, died at his home in the coastal state of Vargas, about 20 kilometers north of the capital Caracas, Evelyn de Martinez told reporters.

She declined to specify the cause of death, although she said he had suffered for years from the same disease which forced him to retire from baseball in 1998.

"He was hospitalized many times until last week, when they told me nothing else could be done," De Martinez said. "He wanted to spend his final days here at home with his family."

"Cafe" Martinez, as he was affectionately known because of his penchant for Venezuelan coffee, began his professional career at 18 in his home, port city of La Guaira, with Los Tiburones, and was signed that same year by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent.

He was traded in 1986 to the White Sox, for whom he made his Major League debut two years later in the last month of the regular season as a third baseman.

Undermined by injuries, he finished with a MLB career batting average of .258 with 25 home runs, and 161 RBIs.

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