We start with part of Edgar Martinez’s Hall of Fame induction speech earlier today:
“Seattle Fans: Thank you for always being there for me,” Martinez said. “Since 1987, you gave me your unconditional support. And it was even more prevalent in the last ten years. The support you gave me over social media really helped me get here today. Thank you, Mariner fans. You are the best fans I could ever hope for. I am so glad that I stayed with you til the end of my career. I love you, Seattle fans. Thank you.”
No, Edgar. Thank you. Thank you for providing us with one of the most gratifying moments in Seattle sports history: Not just The Double in 1995, but your induction earlier today.
Because while every Hall of Fame induction for a former Seattle athlete has been incredibly special, Edgar’s induction today was the one many of us wanted the most and fought for the most. It was the one that unfortunately had a decent chance of never happening; yet one we all believed he was worthy of, including ‘The Kid’ himself.
“Yes, he belongs in The Hall,” Griffey said about Edgar during his induction speech three years ago.
Frankly, it should never have come down to the final vote. In my opinion, the numbers validated the honor. But today was the culmination of a decade’s worth of work to get one of the greatest Mariners of all time into Cooperstown where he belongs. It was a team effort for a worthy cause.
So while the Mariners might not have the best team on the field, their PR department deserves a ton of credit for an exceptional statistical and promotional campaign. And while I don’t ever condone Twitter mobs, I absolutely favor the appropriate social media pressure placed on the voters who were hesitant to vote for Edgar until this year. Because if they weren’t fully convinced by Edgar’s statistics, which they should have been, at the very least, it showed how much he meant to baseball in this city.
For example, I had a lively argument with a Hall of Fame voter in the Mariners media room at Spring Training in 2018 who had left Edgar off his ballot for nine straight years. He voted for Gar this year, and gave this explanation:
“I enjoyed our discussion last year and, even though that was not necessarily what prompted my chance of heart regarding Edgar, the impact he had on baseball in Seattle was a big factor in my decision,” USA Today baseball writer Jorge Ortiz <a href="http://
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One team. One city. One incredible representative. One superior example of consistency. And one enormous postseason hit that helped save professional baseball in Seattle. Hall of Fame worthy, for sure.
That’s why today was extra satisfying. That’s why today gave so many of us chills. Because to us, Edgar Martinez has always been a Hall of Famer. Today, the rest of the world acknowledged it too.
The old adage goes: Better late than never.