Next stop: Cooperstown! Edgar Martinez elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
SEATTLE (KOMO) -- Edgar Martinez: Hall of Famer!
The career-long Seattle Mariner and ultra fan favorite was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame Tuesday afternoon.
And he made it at the buzzer - on his 10th and final appearance on the ballot thanks to a surge of support over the past few years.
Martinez received 36.2 percent support in his first ballot appearance in 2010, well short of the 75 percent needed. He rose from 27 percent in 2015 to 43.4 percent the following year, to 58.6 percent in 2017 to 70.4 percent last year, when he fell 20 votes shy of the 317 needed.
The M's designated hitter received 363 votes or about 85 percent of all the ballots.
Martinez hit .312 with 309 home runs in 18 seasons with Seattle. His career spans countless clutch hits, but perhaps none more memorable than "The Double" in the deciding Game 5 of the Divisional Series that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. to defeat the New York Yankees 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Martinez joins 2014 inductee Frank Thomas as the only players in the Hall who played a majority of their games as a designated hitter. David Ortiz is likely to make it three when he becomes eligible in 2022.
Martinez will be inducted in Cooperstown, N.Y.
At the same time, the Yankees' Mariano Rivera became baseball's first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, elected along with Roy Halladay, Martinez and Mike Mussina.
Rivera received all 425 votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Tuesday. The quartet will be enshrined in Cooperstown along with Today's Game Era Committee selections Harold Baines and Lee Smith on July 21.
Rivera is baseball's career saves leader with 652. Armed with his signature cut fastball, he won five World Series over 19 seasons with the New York Yankees.
Ken Griffey Jr. held the mark for top percentage at 99.32 when he was on 437 of 440 ballots two years ago.
Halladay, an ace with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, got 85.4 percent and will be the first posthumous inductee since Deacon White in 2013 and Ron Santo in 2012. Halladay died in November 2017 at 40 years old when an airplane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
Mussina was a steady left-hander for the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles who went 270-153 with 2,813 strikeouts over 18 seasons. He received 76.7 percent.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens made gains but again fell short in their seventh time on the ballot. Bonds got 59.1 percent and Clemens 59.5.