The Baseball Writers Association of America has elected Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina to the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 class.
Rivera received votes from every single writer who submitted a ballot, becoming the first player to ever be unanimously indicted into the Hall of Fame. According to NBC Sports, Halladay and Martinez each received 85.4 percent of the votes and Mussina was listed on 76.7 percent of the ballots.
In the 19 seasons Rivera played major league ball, he spent the entire duration with the New York Yankees. The coaches initially used Rivera, 49, as a starter, but based upon his immense success, he quickly found himself in the bullpen and became known as the “greatest closer of all-time.” According to NBC Sports, he accumulated 652 saves, which was the most in baseball history. He possessed a 2.21 ERA and racked up 1,173 strikeouts in 1,282 2/3 innings.
“This is beyond my imagination,” he said in a conference call as reported by the Denver Post.
In the 96 postseason games in which he appeared, he had 42 saves out of 47 opportunities with a 0.70 ERA and a 110/21 K/BB ratio in 141 innings. He cinched the deal for five championships and earned five Rolaids Relief Awards. He also was named the MVP in the World Series, AlCS and an All-Star Game. He was selected for the AL All-Star team 13 times.
Halladay sadly is being inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. He tragically perished a few years after he retired while flying his plane off the coast of Florida. He spent the first 12 years of his 16-year career with the Blue Jays where he won the 2003 AL Cy Young Award. He was selected for the AL All-Star team six times. Halladay then was traded to the Phillies where he pitched a perfect game against the Marlins. He pitched a no-hitter against the Reds in his first postseason start, which led him to win the NL Cy Young Award.
In a statement from Brandy Halladay, his widow, she shared that he had never once played with the goal of making it into the Hall of Fame.
“His goal was to be successful every single day of his 16-year career,” she said. “Tonight’s announcement is the end result of that effort. If only Roy were here to personally express his gratitude for this honor, what an even more amazing day this would be.”
Martinez, 56, spent 17 years all with the Mariners. He was a full-time designated hitter and retired with a career.312/.418/.515 batting line along with 309 home runs and 1,261 RBI. He won two batting titles and led the league in RBI once (145 in 2000) and in doubles twice. He was nominated to the AL All-Star team seven times and won five Silver Slugger Awards.
Mussina, 50, played 18 seasons in the major league with 10 of those spent with the Orioles. The pitcher won 270 games and left the mound for retirement with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts across 3,562 2/3 innings. He was named to the AL All-Star team five times and won seven Gold Glove Awards.
Today’s Game Era Committee selected Harold Baines and Lee Smith to join these notable players in the 2019 Hall of Fame induction class. They will be inducted in Cooperstown in July.