A Case For Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame


Hall of Fame ballots are being sent in this week, as the 2014 class gets decided in the coming weeks. This year’s ballot includes sure-things like Pedro Martinez and Craig Biggio, along with uncertain steroid users in Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

But, another name on that list, is the greatest designated hitter of all time: Edgar Martinez.

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Major League Baseball renamed the American League award for best designated hitter the Edgar Martinez award; I don’t know what else can be said. I believe Hall of Fame criteria should be simple: did the player change the game (in a way that wasn’t abused by steroids)?

If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind, Edgar Martinez changed the game and defined the modern designated hitter. Many have qualms with inducting him into the baseball Hall of Fame because he didn’t log enough innings in the field, as he only played his first few seasons in the league at third base.

But, completely disregarding him as a candidate based solely on that fact is not only ignorant, but also damaging to the reputation of the MLB.

There isn’t a single DH in the Hall of Fame… granted, they’ve only been around for a few decades. If the Hall wants to induct a DH though, and the first isn’t Edgar Martinez? There’s something wrong with that picture.

Here, just look at some of the Edgar Martinez stats thrown onto twitter in recent weeks:

OPS+ is certainly a more advanced metric, but that jumps out at you a little bit.

Look at Edgar Martinez compared to current Hall of Famers:

For those who think David Ortiz is a Hall of Fame DH, don’t forget he wins the Edgar Martinez award each year. And look at their numbers side-by-side:

  Hall of Fame voting is a flawed system: the 10 votes per ballot handcuffs players who are well deserving of a Hall of Fame induction. The process dampens the results. Moreover, it’s hard to ignore the looming presence of the steroid era on the ballot with Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds.  You cannot write the good and storied history of the MLB without Edgar Martinez. Anyone who tells you otherwise never watched him play. Spread the word and push all you can: ‘Gar should be a Hall of Famer.