Blengino: Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame

From SABR member Tony Blengino at FanGraphs on December 22, 2015:

Yesterday, December 21, was the deadline for 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame ballots to be submitted. As followers of the process are well aware, quite a logjam has materialized in recent years, due to a confluence of factors, most notably the influx of so-called “steroid era” players, some of whom meet every possible criterion applied to prior candidates, only to be refused entry by the BBWAA. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, two of the ten best baseball players of all time, by any measure, with or without PEDs, languish at the gate of the Hall, ironically gaining just enough votes to deny other worthy candidates the game’s ultimate honor.

Edgar Martinez is one of these players, and arguably might be the one single player (perhaps along with Mike Mussina) whose candidacy has been damaged the most. He became Hall-eligible before Bonds and Clemens, and posted early vote totals that historically would suggest future induction. The tidal wave of talent following him onto the ballot, however, has stopped his vote total in its tracks; this is already his seventh year of eligibility, and to make matters worse, players are now allowed only 10 tries before their name is removed from the ballot and turned over to the Veterans Committee, whose specialty is electing no one.

He is not alone: the Tim Raines situation is perhaps even more regrettable. This slow period in the baseball schedule just prior to Christmas is perhaps a good time to look back and examine just how good a hitter Edgar Martinez was, and how much of a miscarriage of justice his HOF snub is.

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Originally published: December 22, 2015. Last Updated: December 22, 2015.