Mariano Rivera was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame receiving 100% of the vote. I’m glad to see the “I won’t vote for first time ballot guys” holdouts are gone. Rivera is truly deserving and as dominant a closer as we’ve ever seen. His numbers are staggering – 13X all-star, first all-time with 652 saves, career 2.21 ERA and he was even better in 141 postseason innings with a .70 ERA and 42 saves. Eleven seasons of a sub two ERA as well as nine seasons with 40 or more saves. Nothing short of amazing and his final year at age 43 he saved 44 games and had a 2.11 ERA. You can’t ask for more than that from the greatest closer ever.
Roy Halladay made into the Hall on his first ballot. He was a dominant starter who didn’t mind going the distance (led the league in complete games seven times) earning two Cy Young awards while finishing in the top five in voting for the award five more times. He had six seasons with a sub 3 ERA and five more sub 4 ERA seasons. He also finished with 203 wins and 2117 strikeouts. He was a force in the league for ten seasons and somebody no team wanted to face. I’m happy he was voted in though it is sad they he passed away in 2017.
Edgar Martinez was voted in in his 10th year on the ballot. A career .312 hitter he won two batting titles and finished with 2247 hits. He led the league in on base percentage three times finishing at .418. The knock against him was that he was primarily a DH and possibly that he didn’t reach the 3,000 hits milestone which used to be the gold standard. Bottom line is Martinez was a great hitter and one the greatest right handed hitters of our time. He was close to age 27 before his first full big league season so he missed out on quite a few hits despite playing until age 41. It is nice to see him recognized for his prowess at the plate. When you look at his stats they really do pop.
Mike Mussina played 18 years for the Orioles and the Yankees. He finished with an outstanding 270 wins and 2813 wins. I have to admit those numbers surprised me. When he was playing I just never thought of him when hall of fame discussions were had. That may be a mistake on my part. He had many good years though you won’t see dominant years like when you look at Roy Halladay. A very good pitcher this was his sixth year on the ballot and there had been an up swell of support in the last few years. I think many who look past ERA and wins at the SaberMetric world had much to do with that.
The 2019 Hall of Fame class is a fun one and I’m happy for all the new inductees. Next year we’ll see Larry Walker (54%) in his tenth and final year on the ballot. And where will Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds land – all of whom will be on their 8th ballot? Derek Jeter will be on the ballot next year for the first time and will undoubtedly be voted in. I don’t see any other first timer with a realistic chance of making it next year. Until next year…