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Edgar Martinez Belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Brian Taylor

Posted on August 13, 2017 16:52

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Thirteen years after his retirement, one of the greatest pure hitters in baseball history is still not enshrined in Cooperstown, and that is a shame.

Seven time All-Star. Five time Silver Slugger. Two time batting champion. Six seasons of over 100 RBIs. And 5 times he has won the award that was named after him. Yes, his own award. Numbers like that are almost a guarantee to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame on their own merit, without even taking into consideration the contributions a player makes to the franchise that don't always show up in the box score. Yet as we sit here today, nearly 13 years after he hung up his cleats, Edgar Martinez is still not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For 18 seasons, Edgar Martinez was one of the most feared and respected hitters in all of baseball. Even in a lineup that featured both Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez in the prime of their careers, there was always a calming sense of comfort for Mariners fans and trepidation for the other team if Edgar came up to the plate in big situations. He did it in 1995 when his double (which he led the league in that season) down the left field line in Game 5 of the ALDS completed an 11th inning comeback over the Yankees that sent the Mariners through to the ALCS. The Double, as it will always be named, remains arguably the biggest hit in Mariners history.

At the time, Mariners ownership was threatening to leave Seattle if they couldn't get a new stadium and had one foot out the door until the magical ride of 1995 convinced the Washington legislature to find a way to help build what would become Safeco Field. It is safe to say that without Edgar Martinez, there would not be baseball in Seattle today.  

Detractors have pointed out the Edgar spent most of his career as a designated hitter and rarely played in the field in the final 10 seasons of his career. I can't buy that argument because Hall of Fame consideration for hitters is entirely reliant on numbers put up at the plate. There are numerous players in the Hall of Fame who were mediocre with their glove and the Hall of Famers with multiple Gold Gloves would not be there if they were career .225 hitters who put up single-digit home runs per year. Edgar may not have played much in the field due to injuries and age, but it is unfair to use that against him when no other players' fielding percentages are used as a measuring stick.

The fact is, Edgar Martinez is considered by many the greatest designated hitter of all time, so much so that the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award was renamed in his honor upon his retirement. Until the day Edgar is enshrined, I will always ask how a man can have a career worthy of having an award named after him, but not be considered worthy of the ultimate honor of being enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  

Brian Taylor

Posted on August 13, 2017 16:52

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Source: FOX Sports
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Today at Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners announced they would retire the number 11, previously worn by teamlegend Edgar...

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