Mariners News: Edgar Martinez Should be in the Hall of Fame

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Jul 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez watches batting practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez watches batting practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez saw his vote total go from 27% in 2015 to 43.4% in 2016.

That’s the highest total he’s had since he got onto the ballot.  This is Edgar’s seventh year on the Hall of Fame ballot. He has three years left on the ballot to be elected into the Hall of Fame.  He saw an uptick in votes this year which is a great sign.  But there’s been an upswell in talent coming up as well that has hurt his ability to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  He put out this statement today congratulating Ken Griffey Jr on his election.

Papi, as he was called, spent 18 years in the Major Leagues all with the Seattle Mariners.  He made his debut September 12, 1987.  He would go on to be a fixture as the starting third baseman for the Seattle Mariners.  He replaced Jim Presley.  Papi played third base in 1990, 1991, and 1992.  Winning the Silver Slugger, an All-Star appearance, and was 12th in the AL MVP vote.  Then in an exhibition game just before the 1993 season Edgar tore his hamstring at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. on an unzipped seam in the turf between first and second base.  He would never fully recover. In 1995 the right hander became a full time Designated Hitter for the Mariners.

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Edgar didn’t just have to battle injury and the fact that he was in the American League, but he also had to wait to break into the Major Leagues because Jim Presley was blocking him at third base.  Edgar’s three seasons in Triple-A were better than impressive.  He hit .329/.434/.473, .363/.467/.517, and .345/.457/.522 from 1987-1989.  His first full year in the Majors wasn’t until the age of 27 because of that.  You might say this was a huge mistake by the organization and that it not only hurt the team but Edgar’s career as well.

Most don’t know the whole story of why Edgar became a DH.  They didn’t get to see him as an all around player for very long.  They just look at statistics and the fact that he was a DH most of his career so he sat around most of the game and make a judgement.  But the fact that he became an All-Star and was so high in the MVP vote before he got injured is significant.

Edgar had to fight through injury to come back and prove that his bat was enough to keep him in the lineup.  And he did.  He was so valuable offensively that when the team played without a DH in the National League, he would play in the field at first or third.  He ended up playing 592 games in the field over his career.  He was DH because of hamstring issue and because it made the Mariners a better team for him to be the DH.

Edgar’s offensive numbers are worthy of the hall of fame.  A career slash line of .312/.418/.515 is worthy all on it’s own.  He had 2247 hits, 1283 walks, 113 intentional walks, 309 home runs, and 514 doubles.  He was a 7-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger (Three as DH and one as 3B),  and 2-time American League batting champion.  He also won the Roberto Clemente award.

He won most of these awards during a time period where PED’s were rampant throughout the league.  While he did it the right way, he was competing with many who weren’t doing it the right way and still was able to put up Hall of Fame worthy numbers.

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Edgar Martinez meant so much to the Mariners and the city of Seattle that they named a street next to the stadium after him.  They have also created a restaurant at Safeco field in his honor.  The commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig named the Designated Hitter of the Year award after him as the Edgar Martinez Award.  He has been inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.  He spent his entire career with the Seattle Mariners organization.  His place is cemented in the history of the Mariners with the double and the amazing career that he had.

Hall of Fame pitchers Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera, and Pedro Martinez have said that the one hitter they didn’t like facing was Edgar Martinez.  There is no doubt that Edgar Martinez should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Next: Ken Griffey Jr Elected to Hall of Fame

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