Legendary Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was back on the mound last night — in Cambridge.

“Pedro! Pedro!” children called out as Martinez signed autographs before the game.

Martinez signed autographs before the game.
Craig LeMoult/WGBH News

Peter’s Field in Cambridge is no Fenway Park. It’s a nice local baseball diamond, which is why Thursday evening was something special.

This is the 24th year Cambridge has hosted the Abbott Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game. The players are mostly college athletes, some wearing classic-style uniforms. Hundreds of fans lined the perimeter of the ballpark to watch the game.

This year's game was a Cambridge-based ALS Therapy Development Institute, and a fund named for John Martin, a longtime videographer for the New England Sports Network who’s been diagnosed with ALS.

John Martin and his family before the game.
Craig LeMoult/WGBH News

Martinez pitched two innings of shut-out baseball, and said later that he felt great on the mound.

Martinez pitched two innings Thursday night.
Craig LeMoult/WGBH News

After his pitching outing, Martinez spoke about Martin, and said he came out for a great cause.  

“I wonder when are we going to finally get an answer to that disease," Martinez asked. "Guys like John don’t deserve this kind of a disease.”

Martinez, whose number 45 jersey was retired last season to hang in the outfield of Fenway Park, said he enjoyed pitching again, for a great cause.

"It felt great. It's always an honor," he said. "I'm glad I'm the only one that's allowed to bring that number out. But I'm glad I did it, and for this cause, I will even take the number down from up there to use it."

Martinez's former teammate Lou Merloni also played in the game.

"ALS has affected my family. It's affected my grandmother, my great aunt. So I've seen the effects of it, it's an awful disease," he said. "So it's always nice coming here, but knowing it's for this makes it extra special."

Former Red Sox player Lou Merloni at Thursday's game.
Craig LeMoult/WGBH News