(1090 The Fan) – Ken Griffey Jr. goes down as the most talented baseball ballplayer in Mariners history; Randy Johnson is the most feared pitcher; but no player has ever been loved by the city as much as designated hitter Edgar Martinez.
Martinez was one of the best hitters in the game during his 17-year big league career (1987-2004) — and in 2004, Major League Baseball renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in Martinez’s honor (it was about time they did…the guy won it five times).
Martinez was also admired as a humanitarian due to his work with Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (among others).
Unfortunately, Martinez’s legacy as a brilliant hitter (and great guy) isn’t wooing over the writers who are voting in the 2013 MLB Hall of Fame Class.
Here are the critiques we’ve been seeing of Martinez, who has been eligible for the Hall since 2010:
Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider: “His percentages were great (.515 slugging and .418 on-base) and I’m not going to hold it against him that he was the fourth-best player on a team that never reached the World Series (I did vote for Ron Santo eventually). But he was a DH. And he only finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice. (Some will say that’s repeating an injustice, but I don’t think so.) A great hitter, yes, but in my estimation he didn’t leave a mark that was quite great enough.”
Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com Senior Baseball Columnist: “By lowering the bar just a little more, I could also consider voting for players like Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines. Fine players, all of them. Outstanding players, even. But do they belong in the Hall of Fame, which should be reserved for the best of the best? In the end, …. no (for now) on the rest.”
Jayson Stark, Senior Writer ESPN.com: “I’ve voted for Fred McGriff and Larry Walker in the past. I could easily justify voting for them again. But could I justify voting for them instead of Raines or Bagwell? Couldn’t do it. So McGriff and Walker were painful not-quites …. But not as painful as Edgar Martinez. It didn’t feel right to leave a man with a 147 OPS-plus off this ballot. So at one point, I had his name ahead of Sosa’s. In the end, I changed my mind. I’ll explain why shortly. But I’m still not sure I got this right. Hopefully, Edgar will still be on the ballot again next year, so I can torment myself about this again.“
Scott Miller, CBSSports.com Senior Baseball Columnist: “In the end, I voted for just four names on the 27-player ballot (as per rules, you can vote for as many as 10). My near misses were the same guys I sweated over — and neglected — last year: Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Lee Smith and Larry Walker. Not necessarily in that order.”
-Chris Coyle, 1090 The Fan
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