Edgar Martinez is finally a Hall of Famer. However, that wasn’t enough to make him No. 1 in Seattle Mariners fans’ eyes.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll, in honor of Martinez being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, asked readers which player was the greatest Mariner of all time. But Martinez’s enshrinement wasn’t enough to knock Ken Griffey Jr. off the top step of the pedestal.
Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Edgar Martinez learns his Hall of Fame fate Tuesday. In honor of that, who was the greatest Mariner of all time based on what he did with Seattle? Full context, including a poll with a more complete list of options, here: https://t.co/G7B14rx1rM
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 21, 2019
Add it all together and Griffey was still the landslide choice as greatest ever Mariner, claiming 67 percent of the vote. Martinez came in a distant second at 20 percent, while Ichiro brought in 12 percent. Hernandez, Johnson, Rodriguez and “other” combined garnered just 1 percent of the vote, so we can infer that not having their individual names in the Twitter portion of the poll didn’t have a major effect on voting.
This is an interesting result to me. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with Griffey being the choice. He’s a Hall of Famer himself, he was an incredibly popular player and he played a big role in saving baseball in Seattle.
But I have to admit to being a little surprised that Griffey bested Edgar by more than three-to-one. This poll was based on what the players did while playing for Seattle, and from a statistical standpoint Griffey and Edgar were almost dead even in terms of Baseball-Reference.com wins above replacement with the Mariners, with Griffey at 70.6 and Martinez at 68.4. Edgar is also beloved in the Puget Sound region because he played his entire career in Seattle — heck, the name of the street beside T-Mobile Park is named after him. With Edgar being in the headlines because of the Hall of Fame vote, I thought me may see a bump in votes sent his way. If we did, then the sentiment prior to Edger getting into the Hall of Fame was pretty much all in favor of Griffey.
I was also interested in how the voting at the bottom of the poll was going to go. With Twitter only allowing four poll answer options, I had to think long and hard before going with Ichiro as the third named choice. I could think of strong arguments for having any of Hernandez, Johnson or Rodriguez as the third choice instead of Ichiro, but I decided to stick with the raw WAR total. The voting, with Ichiro at least getting a relevant portion of the vote both on Twitter and on the blog, suggests that was the right decision.
Finally, I have to admit to being glad that Rodriguez at least got one vote. I know he’s hated in this area, but I’ve never fully understood why. Sure, he jilted the Mariners, but so did Griffey and Johnson in their own way — and in Johnson’s case it was worse as he tanked half a season to force a trade, whereas Rodriguez just took what was by far the biggest contract offer when he became a free agent. Yet Griffey and Johnson are still revered in Seattle. Even with Rodriguez only playing a fraction of his career with the Mariners, he’s still probably the greatest Mariners player in terms of peak value, and there was at least one voter (it wasn’t me) who acknowledged that.