Every year a select few of baseball’s greatest athletes earn an opportunity to have their name enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, four more names had the honor of joining the 325 members that are already a part of the esteemed group.
Before we get into these four Hall of Famers, let me put something into perspective for you. Each year, qualified voters from the Baseball Writing Association of America (BBWAA) are responsible for naming no more than 10 players that they consider to be Hall of Fame worthy. In order to be enshrined, those players must receive votes from over 75-percent of the BBWAA writers.
In the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame no inductee has been enshrined by a unanimous decision, until now.
The first inductee was New York Yankee, Mariano Rivera, who is the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame via unanimous decision. In his first year on the ballot, he received 425 votes from 425 voters and rightfully so.
Over the course of his 19-year career, Rivera became the greatest closer in the history of the game. He is MLB’s all-time leader in saves with 652, he amassed a career ERA of 2.21, collected 13 All-Star nods, was a 5x World Series Champion. During New York’s 1998 World Series run, “Mo” was also named World Series MVP when he pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, only allowing four total baserunners while striking out three and earning two saves in three appearances.
But that wasn’t even the most impressive stat from Rivera’s career. The career-long New York Yankee who made his living off of his utilization of his cutter pitch, only allowed 11 players to score in the postseason, that’s less than the amount of people who have walked on the moon.
Talk about special.
Roy Halladay was the second first-ballot hall of famer in this 2019 class. Over the course of his 16-year career, “Doc” was one of the greatest to ever do it. He was an 8x All Star, and 2x Cy Young winner and earned 203 wins in his career. But that’s not it, Halladay became the first pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season. That no-hitter, the second of his career, came in the 2010 National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds. It was almost a no-hitter as well, but Halladay issued a walk to Jay Bruce.
Unfortunately, Halladay unexpectedly passed in 2017 when his small, single-engine aircraft, crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He is survived by his wife Brandy and his two sons, Braden and Ryan.
Mike “Moose” Mussina was the third 2019 Hall of Famer after appearing on the ballot for a sixth time. In his 18 year career, Mussina pitched for just two teams, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. He threw over 3,500 innings and won at least 10 games in every season where he started 13 or more. No. 35 was a 5x All-Star, a 7x Gold Glove winner, and amassed over 270 wins in his career. Surprisingly, Mussina received just over the minimum amount of votes with 76.7 percent.
Finally, Edgar Martinez, a longtime Seattle Mariner and designated hitter, has found his way into the Hall of Fame. In his tenth year on the ballot, Martinez received the exact same number of votes as the late Halladay and it was rightly deserved. Martinez was a 7x All-Star, won two batting titles, was a 5x Silver Slugger, and finished his career with a .312 batting average.
Overall, I think the voters got this one right. There will be people out there who want guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds into the Hall. For me, they are a no go. Clemens was found not guilty of lying to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, but his trainer even admitted to injecting him with the PED’s.
Everyone knows Barry Bonds’ story from the skinny Pittsburgh kid to the overweight power-hitter in San Francisco.
Maybe they will both get in someday, maybe they won’t, but for now they are both sitting on the outside waiting for their chance to have their named enshrined amongst the greatest players in the history of the game.
For me, I hope that never happens.
Here’s a breakdown of how the BBWAA voted this season:
|Rk||Name||Years on Ballot||Votes||Vote %|