We are now about 24 hours removed from the Hall of Fame announcements in baseball, and I wouldn’t exactly consider the results as shocking. Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina will be immortalized among the greatest to ever play the game, and rightfully so. I personally am thrilled with this year’s class because the writers finally got one right and put in my childhood hero, Edgar.
Growing up in Spokane, Washington in the 90’s left me with few choices to watch when it came to baseball. The Mariners were the team on the local Fox Sports network, and really the only games I could watch outside of those were the occasional White Sox or Cubs game on WGN. Spending summer nights watching the Mariners with my dad are some of my earliest and most fond memories. It makes sense I grew up a die hard Mariners fan. Seattle was only five hours away by car and I still remember my first time going to the Kingdome to watch Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. While guys like A-Rod, Griffey and Johnson had more star power, all of them left. Some under better circumstances than others (You can still suck it, Alex) but one always remained. Edgar. The man who had a lifetime .579 batting average against the first ever unanimous Hall of Famer. The man the award for the best Designated Hitter is named after. The man who saved baseball in Seattle with what is known simply as “The Double”. That man stuck around for 18 seasons in a Seattle uniform. The thing that sets Edgar apart from all the other legends of Seattle baseball is that he was there for all of it. Edgar was a force of nature during the incredible season that was ’95. He put up a fucking ridiculous .356/.479/.628 slash line that season with an 1.107 OPS and a 185 OPS+. He had his aforementioned “Double” in that Post Season to send the Yankees home. And then again he was there in 2001 when the Mariners tied the Major League record with 116 wins. It wasn’t quite the herculean effort from ’95 but he still posted a .966 OPS and a 160 OPS+. For all of the incredible things that happened between 1995 and 2001 for the Mariners, Edgar was always right in the thick of it. Neither of those memorable seasons would have even been possible without Edgar. And now he will be enshrined as the great that we have always known he is.
I was also happy to see that Mussina and Halladay got the nod because I felt that both of them were deserving. I really don’t feel like I need to say much about Rivera at this point since we all are well aware that he is the best his position has seen. The best home run hitter of all time once again did not make the cut as well as Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. I get that Schilling is kind of a tool but he was a stud and absolutely deserves to be in. Bonds and Clemens frustrate me. If the Hall is truly as “museum” then why are two of the best ever not in? It’s fairly common knowledge at this point that baseball players have used substances to get an edge for a long time. There was no testing for steroids prior to 2003 and neither of them ever failed a test. Do the right thing and put them in. Just make a nice little section for the 90’s era game and note the history of what happened and how the game changed. Juiced hitters faced juiced pitchers. That seems fair to me. But at the same time, guys like Edgar absolutely mashed during that era and never took PED’s. I think there is room for all of them in the Hall, but just make sure its known that some of them were clean. They deserve that much.