During the offseason, most baseball players use their time to work out, spend quality time with their families and do a little bit of traveling. Boston Red Sox outfielder and designated hitter J.D. Martinez was able to do all that this offseason, but he did it in Africa. When the 2019 season came to an end, Martinez spent time in Tanzania with his family and he said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"The trip to Tanzania was amazing, really everything I thought it would be and so much more!" Martinez said to PopCulture.com "There is just something about the rawness of seeing those beautiful animals in the wild, spending time with the local tribes, crossing rivers full of hippos and crocs. It's really special; thrills, culture and history all wrapped into one."
Traveling to different countries is nothing new for Martinez. With the help of his sister Mayra, Martinez brings his parents on an annual family vacation. Mayra, her husband and her kids travel all over the world on a regular basis they even have their own blog called World Stompers which chronicles their adventures.
Martinez went to Thailand the previous offseason and is planning to travel to New Zealand or Egypt once the 2020 season is over. But there is one place he would love to visit.
"I would say Raja Ampat," he said. "I just see the pictures and it looks amazing and really beautiful. I think it just looks so raw. Right now, it's one of those things where it's hard to get to but it's definitely on my bucket list. "
Before Martinez can go on another global adventure, he's looking to help the Red Sox win another World Series. After winning the title in 2018, the team took a step back last year, finishing with an 84-78 record and no playoffs berth. Martinez, who finished the 2019 season with 36 home runs and 105 RBIs with a .304 batting average, revealed the key to getting back to the Fall Classic.
"Health," the three-time All-Star revealed. "I think if this team stays healthy and everyone performs to their abilities, I don't see why we couldn't."
If the Red Sox want to win their 10th World Series title in team history and fifth since 2004, they will have to do it without two of their top players. Outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last month and both were key members to the 2018 World Series team.
"It's one of those things where it was tough," Martinez said when talking about Betts and Price being traded. "You're kind of bummed out when you hear about it. You understand why it had to happen, it's just a tough situation for everyone because they were a big part of the team. But we wish them the best and the best of luck."
The Red Sox aren't expected to win the World Series in 2020, and with the team losing Betts and Price, some experts believe they may have a hard time reaching the playoffs. Regardless, Martinez is ready to help Boston get back on top.
"Our expectations for us this year is to do the best we can to get in the playoffs," he said. "We want to go out there and prove people wrong."