Stark: Five things we learned from the 2019 Hall of Fame election

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on January 22, 2019:

Mariano​ Rivera was a baseball​ miracle.

He threw a pitch the entire planet​ knew​ was coming. He​ threw it​ nearly every time​ he​ wound​​ up and fired. He threw it when he was ahead in the count. He threw it when he was behind in the count. He could have thrown it wearing a blindfold.

And how did that work out? That pitch turned him into the greatest relief pitcher who has ever set foot on a baseball field. That’s how. It obliterated literally hundreds of bats. It put gleaming rings on the fingers of the last Yankees dynasty of the 20th century. And on Tuesday, it performed its final baseball miracle.

It didn’t merely lift Mariano Rivera into the Hall of Fame. It transformed him, remarkably, into the first unanimous Hall of Famer, a man who collected 425 votes on 425 ballots.

The late, great Roy Halladay will join him in Cooperstown next July. So will Edgar Martínez and Mike Mussina. It was the sixth consecutive Hall of Fame election in which the baseball writers elected multiple players – equaling the longest streak in history.

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Originally published: January 22, 2019. Last Updated: January 22, 2019.