Some people call him a one-dimensional player. Some say he’s one of the greatest hitters the game’s ever seen, in fact the game’s greatest relief pitcher Mariano Rivera would’ve said it. Actually he did.
After retiring from baseball after the 2013 regular season, baseball’s all-time saves leader was interviewed by Charlie Rose. When asked if there was ever a batter he was afraid to face Rivera, who had always maintained that he was never afraid on the mound (with that devestating cutter who would be?), said,
“I will put it like this: The only guy that I didn’t want to face, when a tough situation comes, was Edgar Martínez. The reason is because I couldn’t get him out. (laughs) I couldn’t get him out. It didn’t matter how I threw the ball. I couldn’t get him out. Oh, my god, he had more than my number. He had my breakfast, lunch and dinner. He got everything from me. Oh, my god, yeah. I mean, that’s something, though. But, uh, that’s the game.”
Mariano Rivera was afraid of the Seattle Mariners’ third baseman and long-time designated hitter Edgar Martinez. That alone should qualify Martinez to get at the very least more than the 25.2% of the vote for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame that he received in 2014. In fact that statement by Rivera could be considered qualification for induction alone.
Still Martinez is often not considered a viable candidate for the Hall of Fame because he played as a full-time designated hitter from 1995-2004, ten of his 18 seasons with the Seattle Mariners. Defense is a key aspect to the game obviously, but does that render Martinez ineligible?
For more on Edgar Martinez and why he played out the majority of his career as a designated hitter for the Mariners read the rest of my post on Baseball Hot Corner using the link below: