Tomorrow is the deadline for voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to submit their Hall of Fame ballots.
Mine hit the mailbox today, mostly because I’ve got a wild and wooly New Year’s Eve planned (sort my socks in the morning, untangle the hangers in my closet in the afternoon, watch the Silvertips at night, home by 10, asleep by 11, awake at midnight when the fireworks fly from the partiers in the neighborhood).
But enough about my hectic personal life.
As for the Hall of Fame, yes, I voted for Edgar Martinez. I suspect just about every voter in the Northwest did, too, because they looked beyond Edgar’s basic career numbers and saw first-hand what he did to define not only the Mariners’ offense, but the designated hitter position.
Yes, I said position.
The detractors will say Martinez essentially was half a player, that because he didn’t play the field during the heyday of his career, then he doesn’t deserve consideration for the Hall of Fame. I hope those same people use the same logic when deciding whether to vote for Trevor Hoffman or Mariano Rivera or Lee Smith, who in my mind are all worthy of the Hall (I won’t divulge my entire ballot, but I voted for Lee Smith as well).
It seems like a stale argument anyway because the Hall of Fame door to relief pitchers swung open when Dennis Eckersly, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter were voted in. How is Edgar Martinez less of a player than them? That’s one of the points made in an enlightening column by David Schoenfield of ESPN.com.
Today, I filled out the ballot and mailed it off. At 11 a.m. next Wednesday, the vote totals will be announced and we’ll know who will and who won’t comprise the Hall of Fame class of 2010.
I seriously doubt Martinez will come close to getting the 75 percent of the vote required for induction, just as I would be absolutely stunned if he doesn’t get the 5 percent necessary to remain eligible for next year’s ballot. The support he gets will go a long way toward telling me how legitimate Edgar, and the DH position, are considered by writers around the country.