New York Yankee
After Oakland won the Pacific Coast pennant, with Martin playing three infield positions, Stengel was hired to manage the New York Yankees. In 1950, Stengel signed Martin to play with the Yankees, although he spent much of his first year with the farm team. In 1951, Martin met the sensational new player Mickey Mantle, and the two young men—opposite in temperament—became lifelong friends.
When the Yankees played the Dodgers in the seventh game of the 1952 World Series, Martin made a name for himself by running up from second base to catch Jackie Robinson's pop-up ball near the pitcher's mound, winning the game, and the World Series, for the Yankees, their fourth straight World Series victory. The following year, the Yankees made it five straight World Series titles. That season, Martin had twelve hits, batted .500, and played regular second base.
After returning from military service in 1955, Martin played in another World Series and then in 1956 played one more regular season with the Yankees. Then his world collapsed. For his twenty-ninth birthday party, on May 16, 1957, a group of players went to dinner with their wives, although Martin, being divorced, attended alone. Afterwards, they went to Manhattan's Copacabana Club, and player Hank Bauer supposedly got into a fight with men at the next table. The following day, the newspapers broadcast the story. Yankee owner George Weiss blamed Martin for the mess and called him a bad influence on Mantle. One month later, Weiss traded Martin to the Kansas City Athletics, ending his playing career with the Yankees and leaving him hurt and bitter for years to come.