Class act, great numbers, but Edgar Martinez is no Hall of Famer
Baseball's 2010 Hall of Fame class will be announced on Wednesday, and I'm betting that
Edgar presents voters with a unique choice because he is the first candidate who compiled virtually all of his resume as a designated hitter.
In 18 seasons, all with the Seattle Mariners, Edgar batted .312 with an on-base percentage of .418 and a slugging percentage of .515. This makes him one of 20 players in hardball history with lifetime numbers over .300, .400 and .500, respectively. He has a higher on-base percentage than
The Mariners have campaigned madly for Edgar and it pains me to withhold my vote, but I just can't bring myself to put him in Cooperstown alongside
I have been a Hall voter for more than 25 years and it's the most important task assigned to the baseball writers of America. In recent years the Hall ballot has become heavier as voters are asked to make character judgments regarding players who may have padded their statistics with illegal and/or banned substances.
There's no problem with Edgar in this area. He was never tainted by the scourge of steroids, and he retired with an impeccable reputation, on and off the field.
I just don't think he's a Hall of Famer, and that doesn't make him less than great. It doesn't take away his numbers. I like
Each Hall voter applies his own standards, and mine often references the famous line that Supreme Court Justice
For me, it's the same with Hall of Famers. Some guys just strike you as Cooperstown-worthy and others do not. Edgar Martinez was a very fine hitter, but I never said to myself, "The Mariners are coming to Fenway this weekend. I wonder how the Sox are going to pitch to Edgar Martinez?''
It was different with players like
This year I voted for
Alomar goes down as one of the greatest second basemen of all time and was the best at his position for just about the entire time he played. This is his first year on the ballot and I think he'll be the top vote-getter in the class of 2010.
Blyleven has been on the ballot for 13 years and may come up short again, but he won 287 games, ranks fifth all-time in strikeouts and compiled a 3.31 ERA over 22 seasons, pitching for a lot of bad ball clubs.
Morris won 254 games in 18 seasons and pitched one of the greatest World Series games of all time, a 10-inning, 1-0 Game 7 victory over the Braves in 1991. There's already support for Boston blowhard
The toughest omissions this year were Dawson,
A lifetime .312 average is impressive and Edgar's OPS puts him in an elite class. But he wasn't a home run hitter (309), he couldn't carry a team, he didn't scare you, and (sorry) he rarely played defense. Edgar spent a couple of years at third for the M's in the early 1990s before taking over as full-time DH.
The stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime, no doubt will be able to demonstrate that Edgar was better than Lou Gehrig and
Edgar Martinez was a fine hitter and got on base a lot. But he was a corner infielder who didn't hit a lot of homers and then he became a guy who spent the majority of every game watching from the bench.
No Hall for Edgar.