BY SPNW Staff 04:00PM 01/24/2018

Martinez falls 20 votes shy of HOF election

Edgar Martinez surged again in voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but finished with 70.4 percent of the vote Wednesday, 20 votes shy of election to Cooperstown.

Edgar Martinez needed 75 percent of the HOF vote and received 70.4. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspres Northwest

Edgar Martinez, a seven-time All-Star for the Mariners between 1987-04, came agonizingly close to making the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday, but fell 20 votes short of election in his ninth year on the ballot. Martinez received 297 votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America out of 422 cast, or 70.4 percent. He needed 75 percent.

Martinez has one more year on the regular ballot before his candidacy will become the province of the Veterans Committee.

Martinez had another remarkable surge in the polling, receiving an 11.8-percent bump over 2017 when he collected 58.6 percent of the vote.

In pre-announcement tracking of votes made public through Monday (about 57 percent of the total), he had 77.5 percent. The non-public ballots failed him, making him the first one left out of a four-man class of 2018 that includes Chipper Jones (92.2 percent), Vladimir Guerrero (92.9), Jim Thome (89.8) and Trevor Hoffman (79.9).

A history of Edgar’s performances in Hall of Fame voting can be found here.

Martinez hit .312 with a .418 on-base percentage and .515 slugging percentage in 18 major league seasons, all with the Mariners. He was the American League’s top DH five times in his career. The award presented annually to the league’s top DH is named in his honor.

But Martinez did not produce either of two numbers that would have guaranteed him entry into Cooperstown. He hit 309 homers when the standard is 500 and collected 2,247 hits, well shy of 3,000.

Martinez trended well in votes made public — transparency is optional, not mandatory, among the voters — tracking at 80.7 percent as late as Friday. By Monday, his support slipped to 77.9 before dropping to 70.4 in the final accounting. The same thing happened last year. He received 65.9 percent of the publicly known ballots and finished with 58.6 of the actual vote.

Two players with significant ties to the Mariners were on the 33-man ballot for the first time. SS Omar Vizquel (1989-93) received 156 votes, or 37 percent, while LHP Jamie Moyer, who played in Seattle from 1996-05, got 10 votes, or 2.4 percent.


  • Kevin Lynch

    Wait till next year….good guys can finish first, unlike what McGraw (?) said 100 years ago.

    • jafabian

      If Kenny Easley and Spencer Haywood can beat the odds so can Gar!!!

  • Sam Base

    I think Edgar will need to be tracking at about 85 percent or higher in the public votes next season to get in. If he’s tracking at around 90 percent then he’ll make it in easy.

  • Laughing At

    He will get in next year, essentially, more than anything, because it is his last year. Guarantee it. However, it still will not mean that a DH is a real baseball player. It will mean that in the age of stat geeks who can not see the big picture that the Hall of Fame has taken a substantive step toward cheapening the history of real baseball.

    • Sam Base

      You might want to recheck the history of baseball the DH has been a real position since 1973. You can dislike it all you want, but that doesn’t make it “unreal”.

    • DB

      Are pitchers that don’t bat (American League) ‘real baseball players’? What about set-up guys or closers that never start a game? Help me with the logic here. Why is it right that a specialist like Pedro Martinez is in the Hall, but Edgar isn’t ?

      • rosetta_stoned

        Those players you cite are on the field. Playing defense.

        • DB

          So… If you are on the field to play defense, but you don’t play offense because you don’t bat, you’re OK to be in the Hall? But not the other way around, -where your on the field to play offense, but not defense?

  • jafabian

    It’s insulting IMO that a specialist like Hoffman gets in and Edgar doesn’t.

  • Kirkland

    The non-public votes remind me of Washington’s elections before we went to all-mail balloting: Write-in votes were reliably more conservative than those who went to the voting polls. The non-public HOF voters are much more purist than the public voters, who increasingly are taking a shine to Edgar (and arguably Bonds and Clemens).