Four players were elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, and we nearly had a fifth. Longtime Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez fell just 20 votes shy of induction to Cooperstown in results announced on Wednesday.
Martinez was named on 297 of 422 ballots (70.4 percent) from the Baseball Writers Association of America, just short of the 75 percent needed for induction. Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman were all voted in, with their Cooperstown coronation set for Sunday, July 29.
Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame voting
This is the ninth year on the ballot for Martinez, which leaves just one more year for writers to vote him in. The good news for Martinez is that everybody with his vote percentage has eventually been inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Recent examples of near misses include Craig Biggio falling two votes shy in 2014 before getting elected one year later, and Hoffman, who was five votes shy last year and got the call this year.
Martinez hit .312/.418/.515 with a 147 OPS+ in his 18-year career, spent entirely with the Mariners, with 309 home runs and 514 doubles. The seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner played 2,055 career games, of which 1,403 came at designated hitter. Martinez also played 564 games at third base and 28 games at first base.
Martinez, who received 58.6 percent of the vote in 2017, spoke with Greg Johns of MLB.com about his Cooperstown case earlier this week:
“I think, over the years, I kind of got used to the idea that I don’t have any control,” Martinez said this week from his home in Bellevue, Wash. “I tried not to change anything and tried just to not worry too much, because at the end, there’s nothing I can do. You get used to it after so many years going through it.
“It does look like this year there’s a real chance, and that’s exciting. At least it looks like even if it doesn’t happen this year, there’s still a good chance.”
After the results on Wednesday, Martinez expressed thanks for his support: