Yesterday, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2019 was announced and congratulations to the four men heading to Cooperstown: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina.
Now, if you want my take on Rivera being the first man to ever be inducted unanimously, I will refer you to my article i wrote last night. I’m here to talk about the other three men, and I’ll start with the late-great Roy Halladay.
It’s a shame that there are certain people who believe that Halladay was only inducted because of his tragic passing in a 2017 plane crash (By the way, Fuck Mike Felger while we’re at it). Halladay was one of the most dominant starting pitchers of the 2000’s; becoming an 8 time all star, finishing in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 6 times while winning two Cy Youngs, and winning a World Series in 2008. This was the same season where he became only the second man ever to throw a postseason no hitter and the first since 1956. Halladay was the definition of a workhorse, leading the league in innings pitched four times and leading the league in complete games 7 times. A 200 game winner and striking out over 2,000 men, Halladay was more than deserving of being inducted, and it’s sad that he isn’t able to be here to see it.
Another starting pitcher who deserved to be in the hall a long time ago is former Orioles and Yankees hurler Mike Mussina. Mussina was one of the most consistent pitchers of his era. From his sophomore season in 1992 until his retirement in 2008, Mussina never pitched in less than 150 innings. That’s 17 straight years of making 28 or more starts. It’s criminal that Mussina never got a chance at a World Series ring, as he moved to the Yankees right after their late 90’s dominance and only once reached the fall classic with the bombers. Mussina is well regarded as one of the greatest fielding pitchers of all time, winning 7 gold gloves during his illustrious career. Add to that his 4 all star selections and six times coming in the top 5 for the Cy Young voting and you have yourself one helluva career. It sucks that he was never able to earn that illusive Cy Young crown, but the 270 career wins and 2800 career strikeouts look like a pretty good consolation prize. It’s good to see that in his sixth year on the ballot, Mussina finally received the respect he deserved.
And lastly, continuing on the disrespected players topic, Edgar Martinez, in his 9th year of eligibility, finally got in. During his hayday, Martinez was widely regarded as one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball. Martinez was a prototypical DH in that he didn’t hit for much power. Sure, he clubbed 309 career home runs, but Martinez would kill you by smacking the ball all over the park, not just over the fence. With a career batting average of .312 and a career OPS of .933, Martinez was consistently one of the most well-rounded hitters in the league for his entire 18 year career. He was a seven time all star, a four time silver slugger, and a two time batting champion. Until David Ortiz came around, he was the greatest DH of all time. In fact, the award for the best designated hitter is literally named after him! Martinez had to battle with the older voters who very clearly had a lack of respect for the fact that he was a DH, but eventually, the numbers could no longer be ignored.
Congrats to all four of these well deserving men.
The Hall of Fame induction will take place in July.