SEATTLE, Wash. - With the balloting process for the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 approaching the Seattle Mariners are making their case for Edgar Martinez to be sent to Cooperstown.
Martinez anchored the Marines lineup for 18 years, retiring in 2004. He is considered one of baseball's best hitters.
This will be the ninth time he's appeared on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
Martinez earned 58.6% percent of the vote in 2017, continuing his steady climb in percentage. Edgar’s increase in votes of 15.2% from 2016 to 2017 was the 2nd-largest gain of any returning player on the ballot.
Edgar became the Mariners regular third baseman in 1990 at the age of 27. In his first 2 seasons, he proved to be a good defensive third baseman and was the 1992 AL batting champion, the first of his 2 batting titles. Injuries limited him in 1993 and 1994, and manager Lou Piniella moved him to designated hitter in 1995, the position he primarily played the rest of his career.
His accomplishments include:
· 2 American League Batting Titles: 1992 (.343) and 1995 (.356)
· 3 American League On-Base Percentage Titles: 1995 (.479), 1998 (.429), 1999 (.447)
· 5 Silver Slugger Awards: 1992, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003
· 5 Designated Hitter of the Year Awards: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 (now the Edgar Martinez Award)
· 6 Top-10 finishes in American League in Slugging Percentage: 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001
· 7 All-Star Game Appearances: 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003
· Roberto Clemente Award: 2004
Here is what some of Martinez's peers have to say about him.
“Edgar deserves to be in [the Hall of Fame]…There are a lot of guys with similar numbers who should be there, and Edgar’s definitely one of them. He carried the team for a period of time. He was one of the most feared hitters in the game for 10-plus years.” — Ken Griffey Jr., HOF ’16
“Edgar Martinez is, hands down, the best hitter that I’ve ever seen…he is the best pure hitter that I got to see on a nightly basis. And I hope that his time comes soon, that he gets a phone call stating that he’s a Hall of Fame player, because he is.” — Randy Johnson, HOF ‘15
“The toughest — and thank God he retired — Edgar Martinez…I think every pitcher will say that, because this man was tough.” — Mariano Rivera
“He [Edgar] was the best hitter I’ve ever seen. He was tough to get out. He was prepared…He gave Mariano [Rivera] a lot of trouble. He gave a lot of us a lot of trouble. He was unbelievable.” — Jorge Posada
“The toughest guy I faced I think — with all due respect to all the players in the league — was Edgar Martinez. He had to make me throw at least 13 fastballs above 95…Edgar was a guy that had the ability to foul off pitches, and it pissed me off because I couldn’t get the guy out.” — Pedro Martinez, HOF ‘15
“I remember when I was coming up, I used to watch a guy like Edgar hit and I was like, ‘This is ridiculous’…He’s a .312 career hitter. When you’re a career .312 hitter at this level, that means you pretty much got everything down.” — David Ortiz
“I think the writers have spoken in my case, and they will again in the future. They’re not going to hold [being a DH] against you. It’s part of the game and should be included as such. He [EDGAR] was one of the most feared right-handed hitters for a long time in this league. The amount of respect he has from peers speaks to the value of the offensive player he was.” — Paul Molitor, HOF ‘04
“A professional, quiet, humble giant and one of the best right-handed hitters ever seen.” — Dusty Baker