Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame: No one more deserving, no one less likely to get in
As a dyed-in-the-wool, true-blue, rye-bread and mustard-loving Mariners fan, I find it difficult to listen to and discuss Edgar Martinez’s chance to make the Baseball Hall of Fame. But it is that time of year again when the discussion turns to Hall of Fame voting, and I feel that it is my duty to continue to beat the drum for his induction—although, it feels more like beating my head.
The stats are impressive: Edgar hit .312/.418/.515 (147 OPS+) with 2247 hits, 514 doubles, 309 home runs, 1261 RBI and 1219 runs scored. He walked more times (1283) than he struck out (1202).
For the fans of WAR, Edgar ranks 76th in career WAR. This is especially impressive in that he rarely played defensively (WAR includes a large component for defensive value).
Edgar is a 7 time All-Star, with 5 Silver Slugger awards (best hitter at his position), and he has an MLB award named after him for the “Best Designated Hitter in Baseball.”
Edgar was with the Mariners for 18 years, never having played for another team. Edgar is synonymous with the word Designated Hitter, this is indisputable. Many pitchers (including Marinano Rivera and Randy Johnson) have declared him the best right-handed hitter of his era.
Edgar was the Mariner who didn’t leave (Griffey, Randy Johnson, and AROD)—Edgar is Mr. Mariner. Edgar was a key contributor to saving baseball in Seattle in 1995 with his “double” driving in Ken Griffey Jr in that very same playoffs.
Edgar Martinez was the nice guy who finished 1st in our hearts. He signed all the autographs, never got in trouble, and lives to this day in the community.
Why Edgar will not be inducted
During the steroid era, statistics were hyper-inflated as known frauds like Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Raphael Palmero, Mark Mcguire, etc… made a mockery of power number stats. As much as they are to blame for screwing the fans of fair play, they have screwed Edgar who was a product of hard work.
Baseball writers in National League markets wallow in hypocrisy; they continuously refuse to vote for Edgar because he played the Designated Hitter position that doesn’t exist in the NL. And though others such as Paul Molitor, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz have been or will be in the HOF, these same writers use lazy excuses to state they played 1st base—not very well mind you.
Each year that Edgar has been eligible, he has seen votes drop steadily. This is a travesty and a shameful act by arrogant writers who find reasons to not include him. But it is the same reason I will keep bringing it up. Edgar is an analogue for the Mariners as he will never get his due respect.