Edgar Martinez: Hall of Fame Debate


Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 MLB Hall of Fame ballots were announced Tuesday. Among the more notable first-timers on the ballot this year are 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.

But one carryover from last year’s ballot begs additional consideration.

Seattle’s own Edgar Martinez.

If you have been a Mariners fan for any length of time, you don’t need me to sit here and rattle off Gar’s accomplishments to you. But I’m going to anyways.

Martinez finished his career with a .312 batting average, having led the American League twice (1992, 1995). His average ranks him 95th all-time.

You must realize something. With the thousands upon thousands of people who have played this game, to be in the top-100 of ANY category is an amazing accomplishment.

Edgar’s .418 OBP (21st), .515 slg% (68th) and .933 OPS (34th) are all well within that top-100.

Add to that his 514 doubles (50th) and 1,283 walks (44th) and you start to see a pattern develop.

The one criticism I hear more often than not is that Edgar spent most of his career as a Designated Hitter. The DH has been given the HoF treatment that had been reserved for closers.

Closers get into the Hall now and I feel that DH’s will soon enough as well. The DH has been a part of MLB since the 1973 season. It is not a made-up position. There is an All-Star Game roster spot for it (which Edgar filled six times and once at 3B). There is a Silver Slugger award given to a DH (which Edgar won four times and once at 3B).

There is even an award given to the top DH in the AL each year. The award is called, the Edgar Martinez Award.

The guy has his own award named after him. How can he be excluded from Cooperstown?

With a crowded ballot, I fear Edgar may get lost in the shuffle again this year. With vote percentages of 36.2, 32.9, 36.5 and 35.9 each of the past four years, he has fallen way short of the required 75% needed for induction.

I hope I am wrong. I hope that this is the year that Edgar gets his plaque. But if it isn’t, I fell comfortable that he will get it eventually.

I just wish as a Mariners fan, with all of the waiting we are doing in the offseason, that we didn’t have to keep waiting for this too.