This afternoon, Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Edgar Martínez received the highest honor in baseball when they were inducted into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame. This year, despite my worries, I believe that the voters actually did a good job.
There’s so much I could say about Mariano Rivera. But what I think sums it up best is what the BBWAA said by making him the first player in history to be unanimously voted into the Hall Of Fame.
Rivera, arguably the best pitcher in baseball history, earned this honor. In his 19-year career, Rivera recorded a record 652 saves with an 82-60 record and a remarkable 2.21 ERA. But what Rivera is remembered for even more is his postseason dominance. In 96 post-season appearances, Rivera recorded 42 saves and allowed just 11 earned runs. To put that into perspective, more people have walked on the moon than scored earned runs against Mariano Rivera.
This comes with a great deal of sadness because Halladay is not here to celebrate with us. But the fact that he’s not here doesn’t change the fact that he was a great player. Halladay was simply incredible, winning 2 Cy Young Awards and appearing in 8 All-Star games.
As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay posted a 203-105 record with a 3.38 ERA. He is probably most remembered for throwing 2 no-hitters in 2010. The first was a perfect game on May 29 against the Marlins. Then, 5 months later, in game 1 of the NLDS, he threw a no-hitter against the Reds. Once again, I think the voters did a great job in electing him to the Hall of Fame.
Because Mussina retired when I was only 6 years old, I wasn’t as familiar with his name. But that doesn’t change what he did. In his 18-year career, Mussina won 270 games and posted a 3.68 ERA. He was in the Cy Young conversation many times and he appeared in 5 All-Star games.
Now keep in mind that he posted these stats while playing in the AL East with the Orioles and Yankees. This means that he spent at least 2/3 of all his games in hitter-friendly parks such as Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Candem Yards.
Martínez has been waiting for this day for a long time. This was the last time that he would appear on the ballot if he wasn’t elected. For years, Martínez was a victim of the debate over designated hitters in the Hall of Fame. But the baseball writers finally came to the right decision when they elected Martínez.
In his 18-year career, Martínez posted a .312 batting average (1st among all-time DHs) with a .418 OBP (once again best among DHs), and an all-time greatest OPS of .933.