The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the inductees into the 2019 Hall of Fame class on Tuesday, and former Yankees pitcher and MLB's all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera highlighted the list of honorees.
Rivera is the first player to be unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame.
In addition to Rivera, former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay was also voted into the exclusive club with 85.4% of the votes. Joining those two as the third inductee in the class of 2019 is former Mariners designated hitter and third baseman Edgar Martinez. Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina also made the cut.
Rivera, a five-time World Series champion and the 1999 World Series MVP, leads the MLB in career saves with 652. The 13-time All-Star spent his entire career in New York before retiring after the 2013 season.
"All I have to say is thank God for that," Rivera told MLB Network on being inducted. "It was a beautiful, long career with the best organization there is in baseball, the New York Yankees. One thing I always remember is wearing No. 42, representing Mr. Jackie Robinson. Me being the last player wearing 42 and being elected to the Hall of Fame unanimously, it's amazing."
In his 16 seasons across the AL and NL, Halladay proved to be one of the best pitchers of his era. He won a Cy Young in each league, went 203-105 over his career and threw a no-hitter in his first career playoff game. He led the league in innings pitched four times during his career and also racked up 2,117 strikeouts. He is the first player voted into the Hall posthumously since Roberto Clemente in 1973.
Halladay's wife Brandy released a statement thanking the writers for the "overwhelming percentage of votes" that her husband received in his first year on the ballot. Several of Halladay's former teammates also paid tribute to him online.
Martinez was a seven-time All-Star who also won two batting crowns during his 18-year career. He totaled 2,247 hits in his career as well as 309 home runs and 1,261 RBIs. In 1995, Martinez's second year leading the AL in batting average, Martinez led the league with 52 doubles and 121 runs while getting a slash line of .356/.479/.628. It was Martinez's last year on the ballot to get in and he was voted for on 85.4% of the ballots, a marginal increase from the 70.4% of ballots that voted for him last year.
Mussina received 76.7% of the votes to join the class of 2019, just above the 75% required to make it in. He went 270-153 for his career and racked up a 3.68 ERA over 18 seasons in the AL East. Mussina was a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner.
Home run king Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens also missed out on induction, likely due to their connections to performance-enhancing drugs. In what was each player's seventh year on the ballot, they both finished short of the 75% of ballots needed to make the hall. Bonds got 59.1% while Clemens got 59.5%.
Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling also missed out on being inducted this year.
Here's the full results for the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, based on the Baseball Writers' Association of America votes:
• Mariano Rivera, 100% of votes, first year on the ballot
• Roy Halladay, 85.4%, first year on ballot
• Edgar Martinez, 85.4%, 10th year on ballot
• Mike Mussina, 76.7%, sixth year on ballot
• Curt Schilling, 60.9%, sixth year on ballot
• Roger Clemens, 59.5%, seventh year on ballot
• Barry Bonds, 59.1%, seventh year on ballot
• Larry Walker, 54.6%, ninth year on ballot
• Omar Vizquel, 42.8%, second year on ballot
• Fred McGriff, 39.8%, 10th year on ballot
• Manny Ramirez, 22.8%, third year on ballot
• Jeff Kent, 18.1%, sixth year on ballot
• Billy Wagner, 16.7%, fourth year on ballot
• Todd Helton, 16.5%, first year on ballot
• Scott Rolen, 17.2%, second year on ballot
• Gary Sheffield, 13.6%, fifth year on ballot
• Andy Pettitte, 9.9%, first year on ballot
• Sammy Sosa, 8.5%, seventh year on ballot
• Andruw Jones, 7.5%, second year on ballot
• Michael Young, 2.1%, first year on ballot
• Lance Berkman, 1.2%, first year on ballot
• Miguel Tejada, 1.2%, first year on ballot
• Roy Oswalt, 0.9%, first year on ballot
• Placido Polanco, 0.5%, first year on ballot
• Rick Ankiel, 0%, first year on ballot
• Jason Bay, 0%, first year on ballot
• Freddy Garcia, 0%, first year on ballot
• Jon Garland, 0%, first year on ballot
• Travis Hafner, 0%, first year on ballot
• Ted Lilly, 0%, first year on ballot
• Derek Lowe, 0%, first year on ballot
• Darren Oliver, 0%, first year on ballot
• Juan Pierre, 0%, first year on ballot
• Vernon Wells, 0%, first year on ballot
• Kevin Youkilis, 0%, first year on ballot