Rejoice, Mariners fans! There are only 11 days until Opening Day! This is the equivalent to the number the great Edgar Martinez wore with Seattle. Martinez is arguably one of the best three players to ever don a Mariners uniform and is rightfully in the baseball Hall of Fame.
Martinez did not get into the Hall the easy way. He was a designated hitter and while baseball has had that role for decades now, most writers who vote for the Hall still frown on players who only hit and don’t play the field. Maybe they are purists, and to be fair, so am I. A player who doesn’t play the field maybe should have a tougher time being an inductee. But Martinez is different.
I mean, the yearly designated hitter award is now named the Edgard Martinez Award for a reason. He is arguably the best designated hitter in the history of major league baseball. Red Sox fans might disagree because they had David Ortiz and Ortiz was great, but he was a different hitter and had an easier park to hit in.
Mariners Opening Day starts in 11 days!
Had Edgar played in Fenway his numbers would have been even better. But as it is, number 11 for the Mariners led the American League in on-base percentage three times, doubles twice, batting average twice, OPS once, runs-scored once and RBI once.
Ortiz? He led the league in on-base percentage, home runs once, and RBI twice. That doesn’t match up to Martinez, nor does the rumor that Martinez never was accused of PED use and Ortiz was and actually failed a test. Martinez was born to hit and Ortiz probably needed a bit of help.
As far as Edgar Martinez’ ranks in Mariners history, they are the following: Second in batting average (.312), first in offensive WAR (66.9), first in on-base percentage (.418), first in runs scored (1,219), second in home runs (309) and Martinez wasn’t even a pure power hitter. Look at any positive hitting list and Martinez probably ranks among the best in Seattle baseball.
As it stands, Edgard Martinez ranks 21st on the all-time baseball on-base percentage list. He was a great player and a great Mariner. In fact, if I was a betting person, I would offer you $5 that Martinez could pick up a bat right now and hit at least .280 in 2021 even though he is almost 60 years old.