Twenty hours and 22 minutes of edge-of-your-seat baseball—on average, more than four hours every game—ended with the Mariners mobbing one another as fireworks burst above them. Showalter retreated to his office, his eyes moist with tears. Outside his door Yankee owner George Steinbrenner was talking about unspecified changes. "You'll see," he told reporters.
In the other clubhouse Martinez was still in full uniform, dripping with champagne, beer, ice water and the sweat from another honest day's work. "I thought Game 4 was the greatest game I ever played," he said. "But this is the best one."
Like an oyster pried open to reveal the pearl, only then did Martinez seem discovered. Of course, the pearl had been there all along. "It's nice," he said, "but the satisfaction I have inside is most important."
Soon—after the television lights were turned off and his teammates were gone—Martinez would mop the champagne from his brow and put in another workout session on the exercise bike. "Yes, I will," he said, "Every day." There was, after all, still so much work to be done.