Edgar Martinez failed to reach the 75% vote margin in order to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame coming in at 36.5% this year. Even though this was only Edgar’s third year of eligibility, he is headed in the right direction by adding on votes from last year’s 32.9%. With the upcoming years of Hall of Fame voting it will only get harder for Martinez as the players from the Long Ball Era will make their way onto the ballot including Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and the list goes on.
Current projections are placing Martinez on the ballot for another 10+ years before being inducted. How is this so? Comparable nominees such as Bert Blyleven and Jim Rice had similar routes to the Hall of Fame by slowly increasing their vote each year. Blyleven in his third year received 17.4% of the vote and Rice received 35.3%.
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For me being such an optimistic Mariners Fan (I don’t know any other kind) I place Edgar Martinez to be in the Hall of Fame Class of 2016 for two reasons.
First, Edgar was the first elite designated hitter. Period. He hit with a combination of power and average consistently for a decade. Why else would the yearly award for best DH be named after him? With advanced stats gaining popularity each year and writers measuring a player’s career with these stats, Edgar’s value only rises.
Secondly, 2016 could very well be the best day in Mariners history; unless of course we win a World Series from now until then. 2016 is the first year Ken Griffey Jr. will be eligible, who will be a hands down first ballot hall inductee. I can picture a day where the first two Mariners to reach the Hall of Fame will have together. It is of course, for those two why baseball still exists in Seattle.
Nobody said it was going to be an easy journey for Edgar to reach the hallowed grounds of Cooperstown. But with a few more years, and hopefully the help of Griffey being a first ballot candidate, Edgar will be the first Designated Hitter in the Hall of Fame.
--Joe Chanes (@ChanesJ)