Mariners 40th Anniversary All-Time Roster: The DH Edgar Martinez
By Adam Levi
We conclude our Mariners all-time greatest roster with the designated hitter position. Much like in right with Ichiro and Center with Griffey Jr., choosing the best DH was a piece of cake.
To be chosen as the greatest of a position, it helps to be far better than any other player to play that spot.
In the case of Edgar Martinez, If you add up the total numbers of home runs hit, RBIs driven in, doubles hit, triples hit, and walks drawn of the 21 other men to play DH since 1987 (Edgar’s rookie year) Martinez would still lead in each one of those categories.
Sure, it looks as though Nelson Cruz could give Martinez’s home run tally something to worry about, depending on how long he end up being with the club, but other than that, there hasn’t been a designated hitter in Mariners history that has been so good with his bat.
From his clutch hits in the playoffs -his double in the 1995 ALDS being the biggest- to his steady hitting through his nearly two decades with the Mariners, Edgar did it all.
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Although he never won the award, Martinez finished with MVP votes in five seasons, including his best year where he finished 3rd behind Albert Belle and Mo Vaughn in 1995.
What made him so impressive was how he spread out his excellence. In 1992 he led all of baseball with 46 doubles, nine years later he was still having 40-double seasons.
In 2001, when he was 37, he led the MLB with 145. He is still the oldest player to ever reach at least 140 runs batted in. Even Babe Ruth, who played until he was 40 couldn’t hit the 140 mark after the age of 36.
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It didn’t matter if he was young or old, Edgar was always great, and not just by Mariners standards. He is one of the greatest to ever play the role of designated hitter and one of the greatest players to ever play the game.