Martin persevered despite calamity. He began his pro career in 1941, but was wounded as a combat engineer in WWII. In spring training of 1949, a death in the family took him away for three weeks; he lasted just 10 games in his debut with Brooklyn. The next spring he sprained his ankle and was sent down. Drafted by the Athletics, he went a career-best 11-4 in 1951, beating every AL club at least once before suffering a season-ending collision with Cleveland catcher Jim Hegan. He sat out most of 1952 after breaking a finger.