Two days ago baseball elected it’s 2019 Hall of Fame class. The Hall of Fame is a time in a baseball players life where all the years of grinding, waking up early, going to practice when you didn’t want too, hitting out of slumps, and wondering if you can still do the sport of baseball at the highest level, this is what a baseball player works for. Obviously the money is a nice materialistic touch to all the hard work as well, but no one can take that Hall of Fame plaque away from you. Unless they rob you.
Well the baseball world got blessed on Tuesday night with some great names that we will never forget. Here are the election results thanks to MLB.com:
Side Note: To become a Hall of Famer you must receive 75% or over of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. You have 10 years to try and get above the 75% threshold and if you have not done that within the time frame, you are taken off the ballot. There are a few other ways to get voted into the Hall, except this is the trademark and traditional way. Also, if you receive less than 5% of the vote at any time, your name will be taken off the ballot.
Mariano Rivera: 425 votes (100%) — 1st year on ballot
Roy Halladay: 363 (85.4%) — 1st
Edgar Martinez: 363 (85.4%) — 10th
Mike Mussina: 326 (76.7%) — 6th
Curt Schilling: 259 (60.9%) — 6th
Roger Clemens: 253 (59.5%) — 7th
Barry Bonds: 251 (59.1%) — 7th
Larry Walker: 232 (54.6%) — 9th
Omar Vizquel: 182 (42.8%) — 2nd
Fred McGriff: 169 (39.8%) — 10th
Manny Ramirez: 97 (22.8%) — 3rd
Jeff Kent: 77 (18.1%) — 6th
Billy Wagner: 71 (16.7%) — 4th
Todd Helton: 70 (16.5%) — 1st
Scott Rolen: 73 (17.2%) — 2nd
Gary Sheffield: 58 (13.6%) — 5th
Andy Pettitte: 42 (9.9%) — 1st
Sammy Sosa: 36 (8.5%) — 7th
Andruw Jones: 32 (7.5%) — 2nd
As you can see we have a bit of history on our hands ladies and gentlemen. Mariano Rivera, former Yankee great closer is the first unanimous Hall of Famer in the history of Major League Baseball. what an accomplishment and something to be proud of. Joining Mariano are another fucking former Yankee Mike Mussina, former DH extraordinaire Edgar Martinez, and former two time Cy Young Award winner and eight time all star Roy Halladay. Let’s break down some careers here.
Mariano Rivera- Career stats- Games finished- 952 (all time leader), saves- 652 (all time leader), ERA+- 205 (all time leader), ERA- 2.21, WHIP- 1.000.
13 time all-star, 5x World Series Winner, World Series MVP, All-Star Game MVP, ALCS MVP, 5x Rolaids Relief award winner.
If anyone would become a unanimous winner, it would be Mariano. Next in line might be Derek Jeter when he becomes eligible next year 2020. Let’s stay in the present for now. If you did not already know, Trevor Hoffman was once the best closer of all time, and then Mariano kept pitching. And pitching. And pitching until he finally called it quits at the ripe age of 43. Of course he had to take over Hoffman’s save record all the while recording one last all-star campaign on his way out. During the Yankees dynasties in the late 90’s early 2000’s, Rivera was always a given at the end of the game anchoring the bullpen and was a formidable force until the end. Armed with a cutter that was as unhittable as they come, no one could touch him. With his career mark of 652 saves, we might not see another pitcher reach that amount in our lifetime. From a personal standpoint, when I was younger and used to get autographs with my father, living in Tampa we were always close to the Tampa Yankees complex, AKA their spring training facility. Mariano was always one of the nicest people no matter the circumstances. Always polite to everyone. Would stop and sign for a group of kids and never an asshole. These are the types of people to create an impact in your life and it feels good that a good guy gets in. Unlike Goose Gossage who is an asshole and cried all the way until he got in. That’s for another time.
Mike Mussina- Career stats- Wins- 270 (Tied 33rd all time), Win percentage- .638 (41st all time) ERA- 3.68, WHIP- 1.192, innings- 3,562 (66th all time), Strikeouts- 2813.
5x All-Star, 7x Gold Glove Winner.
Mussina is another guy who was on those Yankee dynasty teams in the late 90’s early 2000’s and took advantage. Now, I will say I never got to see Mussina pitch early in his career with the Orioles, but looking at the numbers, he wasn’t bad. He won 18 games twice and 19 games twice as well along with ERA’s lower than four in most seasons except one where he won 19 games and had an ERA of 4.81. Mussina was a workhorse. Rarely ever missing starts, up until his last season at the age of 39 Mussina led the league in games started with 34. Out of his 18 seasons in the big leagues, Mussina threw over 200 innings in 11 of them and throwing 197 in one. Not a very hard thrower, Mussina had great control and command of the strike zone. Striking out over 200 batters four times in his career, you can tell he commanded the zone without that upper 90’s fastball. An artist on the mound in other words.
My take on Mussina is a little different. Yes, I never got to see him pitch until he was with the Yankees so I can only judge based on his career 30+. I never thought Mussina was a Hall of Famer. I thought he was a great pitcher, but not Hall of Fame worthy. If Mussina wasn’t on those dynasty Yankee teams, he probably would have at least 23-30 of those wins taken away making him a 240-250 game winner. Mussina’s ERA+ (pitchers ERA adjusted to the ballpark he pitches in with 100 being the average) with the Yankees for the eight years he was a Yankee was 115.5. Above average, but barely. I’m nitpicking but it shows you that he was only a above average pitcher late in his career and if it weren’t for the star studded lineups the Yankees were running out their on a daily basis, his numbers would be a little miscued. Not an excuse, but if he an Oriole his whole career and never joined the Yankees, would he be a Hall of Famer? Who knows and who gives a shit about my opinion because he is in the Hall while I sit here and write about it. Congrats Moose. But everyone knows that if you’re a Yankee you get a little more leniency 😉
Edgar Martinez- Career stats- hits- 2247, home runs- 309, RBI- 1261, batting average- .312, OBP- .418, SLG- .515, OPS- .933, OPS+- 147
7x All-Star, 5x Silver Slugger, 2x Batting Titles winner.
It has been a long time coming for Mr. Martinez. On his 10th and final ballot, Martinez gets in. One of the more controversial players every year, Martinez gets in as a pure DH. The only knocks on Edgar are he didn’t really have a position, he started his career a little later, age 27, and his numbers do not really match up with other Hall of Famers. Martinez is one of the best pure hitters ever. Evidenced by his career triple slash of .312/.418/.515 the man did not need a position. Just give some lumber and let him smack and that exactly what he did. One of Martinez’s best seasons came in 1995 when he finished 3rd in the MVP voting. Martinez finished with a triple slash of .356/.479/.628- 1.107 OPS– OPS+ 185, leading the league in average, on base percentage, OPS and OPS plus, while also hitting 29 home runs driving in 113 runs, leading the league in runs scored with 12, and doubles with 52. Martinez hit above .330 four times in his career and lead the league three separate times in on base percentage (OBP).
Martinez is the second best DH in the history of baseball besides our own generational talent Big Papi, David Ortiz, but did he deserve the hall even with his numbers? This is the question that will always be connected to Martinez. You have to think, yes MArtinez is one of the best DH’s of all time, and yes he was great for a period of seven years, but was that enough. A man like Fred McGriff, who was eliminated from Hall of Fame contention this year, had numbers better in comparison than Martinez (that I will be writing about in a separate little blog) but yet was denied entry into this exclusive club. Something to think about. Once again, no one cares what I say but I will still let the world know what’s going on in my little brain.
Roy Halladay- Career stats- 203 wins, Win percentage- .659 (20th all time), strikeouts- 2117, ERA- 3.38, WHIP- 1.178, complete games- 67, ERA+- 131.
8x All-Star, 2x Cy Young award winner
When you think of Hall of Fame pitchers, Halladay is one hundred percent a no doubter. One of baseballs best pitchers for 10 years, Halladay was a modern day marvel as he brought nostalgia to all the older generation pitchers who could watch him. A true workhorse, Halladay led the league in complete games seven years, shout outs four years, and innings pitched four years as well. Pitching deep into games was not only Halladay’s strength, as he finished top five in Cy Young voting five straight years, winning two of them and finishing second twice as well. Halladay was like Pedro. They both don’t have 300 wins but dominated baseball for a decade or longer. Along with being one of baseball’s best, Halladay was a great guy. Living in Tampa, Dunedin, which is the Blue Jays spring training facitilty, was a 15 minute drive and I spent a lot of time over there with my father. Halladay has always been a class act. Tragically, Halladay passed away on November 7th, 2017 in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico so he will only be their in spirit. Halladay’s family did not choose to wear a Blue Jays hat or Phillies when he is inducted.
A truly beautiful Hall of Fame class. How lucky we are to witness greatness. Induction Ceremonies are July 19-22 in Cooperstown New York. Hopefully Fred McGriff will be put in by the Today’s Game Era Committee so he can too join the fun.
P.S. RIP to Roy Halladay. Also, how bout that sweet pic of Edgar Martinez? That’s a hall of fame picture.