Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, and Mike Mussina have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America as part of the 2019 class. The results were just announced on MLB Network. Rivera received votes from every single writer who submitted a ballot, becoming the first player ever to be unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame. Halladay and Edgar Martínez each received 85.4 percent of the vote and Mussina appeared on 76.7 percent of ballots.
Rivera, 49, spent all 19 of his seasons in the majors with the Yankees. He was initially used as a starter, but quickly moved to the bullpen, becoming the greatest closer of all-time. He racked up 652 saves — the most in baseball history — during the regular season along with a 2.21 ERA anda 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings. He saved his best work for the postseason. Rivera appeared in 96 postseason games, saving 42 saves in 47 opportunities with a 0.70 ERA and a 110/21 K/BB ratio in 141 innings. Rivera won five championships, five Rolaids Relief Awards, as well as MVP awards in the World Series, ALCS, and All-Star Game. He made the AL All-Star team 13 times.
Halladay, 40, will sadly be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Just a few years following his retirement, Halladay died while flying his plane off the coast of Florida. Halladay spent the first 12 years of his 16-year career with the Blue Jays, winning the 2003 AL Cy Young Award and making the AL All-Star team six times. The Jays traded him to the Phillies after the 2009 season. In 2010, Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins on May 29, 2010, which was the 20th in baseball history at the time. Halladay then pitched a no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS, his first career postseason start. He unanimously won the NL Cy Young Award that year. Halladay had another great year in 2011, making the NL All-Star team and finishing a runner-up in Cy Young balloting. Starting in 2012, however, injuries began to get the best of him and his career was finished not long after.
Martínez, 56, played in the big leagues between 1987-2004, all with the Mariners. He spent the first eight years of his career before becoming a full-time DH, arguably the best of his era. He retired with a career .312/.418/.515 batting line along with 309 home runs and 1,261 RBI. He won two batting titles, led the league in RBI once (145 in 2000), led the league in doubles twice, and led the league in on-base percentage three times. Martínez made the AL All-Star team seven times and won five Silver Slugger Awards as well. This was Martínez’s 10th and final year on the ballot and he finally received enough support to earn enshrinement. Starting with his first year of eligibility in 2010, Martinez earned 36.2, 32.9, 36.5, 35.9, 25.2, 27.0, 43.4, 58.6, and 70.4 percent of the vote through last year.
Mussina, 50, has been a Sabermetric favorite since he first became eligible. The right-hander played 18 seasons in the majors, 10 with the Orioles and eight with the Yankees. He won 270 games, retiring with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts across 3,562 2/3 innings. Mussina made the AL All-Star team five times and won seven Gold Glove Awards. His traditional stats, beyond wins, don’t stack up quite as well compared to other Hall of Fame starters. However, Baseball Reference credits him with racking up 82.9 Wins Above Replacement, which is only a tick behind Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez’s 86.2.
Congratulations to Rivera, Halladay, Martínez, and Mussina. They will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith in the 2019 Hall of Fame induction class. Baines and Smith were voted in by the Today’s Game Era Committee last month. The group of six will be inducted into Cooperstown in July.
Players that got between five and 75 percent of the vote will reappear on next year’s ballot. Those include: Curt Schilling (60.9%), Roger Clemens (59.5%), Barry Bonds (59.1%), Larry Walker (54.6%), Omar Vizquel (42.8%), Manny Ramirez (22.8%), Jeff Kent (18.1%), Billy Wagner (16.7%), Todd Helton (16.5%), Scott Rolen (17.2%), Gary Sheffield (13.6%), Andy Pettitte (9.9%), Sammy Sosa (8.5%), Andruw Jones and (7.5). Fred McGriff got 39.8% of the vote in his 10th and final year on the ballot, so he is no longer eligible, but he can be considered by the Today’s Game Era Committee.
Dropping off the ballot with less than five percent of the vote: Michael Young (2.1%), Lance Berkman (1.2%), Miguel Tejada (1.2%), Roy Oswalt (0.9%), Placido Polanco (0.5%), Rick Ankiel (0), Jason Bay (0), Freddy Garcia (0), Jon Garland (0), Travis Hafner (0), Ted Lilly (0), Derek Lowe (0), Darren Oliver (0), Juan Pierre (0), Vernon Wells (0), and Kevin Youkilis (0).