Edgar draws 32.9 percent of Hall of Fame vote
Edgar Martinez received votes on 32.9 percent of the Hall of Fame ballots cast this year by Baseball Writers’ Association of America members, leaving the former Mariners star in contention for Cooperstown in coming years.
While it takes a 75-percent vote to earn Hall of Fame induction, Martinez put up strong numbers for a second straight year and will remain on the ballot next year.
In his initial appearance on the HOF ballot last year, Edgar drew 36.2 percent of the votes. His 32.9 percent voting put him eighth on the 2011 ballot.
Three other former Mariners drew minimal support in their first year on the ballot Wednesday, with Tino Martinez at 1.0 percent, John Olerud tallying 0.7 percent and Bret Boone 0.2 percent.
In Edgar Martinez’s case, his percentages are plenty good enough to keep him in contention — players named on five percent or more of the ballots are automatically placed on the following year’s ballot — but no guarantee that he’ll eventually climb to the required 75 percent for Hall of Fame election.
It’s worth noting, though, that it took pitcher Bert Blyleven 14 years to get elected, with the 287-game winner finally gaining his ticket to Cooperstown on Wednesday with a 79.7 percent vote. Former second baseman Roberto Alomar was also elected — in his second try — with a 90.0 vote.
Blyleven earned just 17.5 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility in 1998 and dipped to 14.1 percent his second year. It took Blyleven seven years to reach the 35-percent level in ’04 and he then gradually crept closer and closer until finally pushing through this year.
Pitcher Jack Morris is another example of a guy who is gradually moving up year-by-year. Morris drew 22.2 percent his first year of eligibility in 2000 and then dropped to 19.6 his second year.
But Morris has hung in there on the ballot and added support over the past decade to the point where he drew 52.3 last year and hit 53.5 on Wednesday in his 12th year on the ballot.
There’s no guarantee that Martinez will gain similar momentum in coming years, but it’s certainly possible and he has a solid core of support already from many BBWAA members.
Players are eligible to remain on the ballot for 15 years. After that, their chances of election are left to the Veteran’s Committee, which this year voted in former Mariners general manager Pat Gillick.
He’ll join Alomar and Blyleven at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.