Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Edgar Martinez is Cooperstown material

Two years ago The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame inducted Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez to their Hall of Fame.
I was present on the field with Edgar to make the presentation. This year
the Mariners will induct Edgar into their Hall of Fame and not far from today Edgar will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown,New York. He was that good.

When Yankee outfielder Ron Blomberg became the first DH in history at Fenway Park,Boston against Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant on April 6, 1973, little did he know that one day there was going to be the ultimate professional designated hitter going into the Hall of Fame.

That man is Edgar Martinez. Edgar was a third baseman by trade but many injuries from arthroscopic surgery on his knee to pulled hamstrings, bone spurs in his shoulder and such made it very difficult for him to throw the ball.

For most of his 18 year career with the Seattle Mariners, Edgar Martinez became the best DH in all of baseball. Maybe the best DH ever.
Edgar was selected to play in 7 All Star Games, won 2 Batting Titles finished with a .312 lifetime average, 309 home runs and 1,261 runs batted in. The City of Seattle since their first Mariners game in 1977 has enjoyed many popular fan friendly players, the likes of Julio Cruz,John Olerud,Ken Griffey Jr,Mike Cameron,Bret Boone,Dan Wilson,Jaime Moyer, Ichiro Susuki. But none (in my opinion)is more well loved in Seattle than Edgar Martinez who has a street to his name just outside Safeco Field.

Now the Seattle Mariners are going to induct into their Hall of Fame the affable Puertorican player during a pregame ceremony at Safeco Field on June 2. Well deserved. His number 11 should also be retired.

Anybody who saw Edgar play, they witnessed the ultimate professional. During his last 2-3 years he played basically with one leg,in constant pain and ran as hard as many that had two healthy legs. Edgar is a quiet man, humble and family oriented. I hope some day he decides to comeback to the game of baseball. In any capacity he will be an asset to any franchise. Obviously the Mariners think very high of him and they are recognizing him with his induction into their Hall of Fame.
Even a statue would not be a bad idea someplace inside or around Safeco Field for this man. The Mariners are a relatively young franchise, founded in 1977 but players like Edgar Martinez are not in abundance. The Mariners have to start thinking about their history and Edgar Martinez is right there at the top. There is more to Edgar Martinez than that 1995 season and Playoff because Edgar always played to win and he played all his career in Seattle something that is becoming more and more difficult to find. Ironically this year two great players that also played their whole careers in the same town are going to be enshrined in Cooperstown,Cal Ripken Jr.(Baltimore)and Tony Gwynn(San Diego).

The difference between Edgar Martinez DH career and other DH careers is that many designated hitters started their careers as DH towards the end, even Reggie Jakcson was a DH when he wasn’t even hitting his weight.

However, Edgar became the model for a designated hitter, a clutch feared hitter with tremendous hitting skills and determination. He exemplified the team spirit of the Mariners for almost two decades.

During the 2004 season Major League Commissioner Bud H. Selig announced a change in the name of the DH Award and Selig renamed it The Edgar Martinez Award. I believe with that move the Commissioner basically insured Edgar Martinez admittance into that exvlusive group in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

If I owned a team and wanted to win I would make Edgar Martinez my batting instructor(if he wanted the job). Are you kidding me ? Rarely have I seen such a disciplined man at the plate, he is bilingual in a game that is becoming more and more Hispanic, Edgar is well respected and one of the best hitters of his generation.

In 2009 five years after his last game Edgar Martinez will be elegible for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and he should be elected because Edgar is Cooperstown material. It is as simple as that. Over and out.


1 marty { 01.27.07 at 8:25 am }

Amaury thanks for the article on one of the outstanding hitters of the past twenty years. This week at the A’s Fantasy Camp we discussed potential hall of famers during my nightly forum. Goose Gossage was a unanimous choice to go into the hall. Some thought that a DH shouldn’t be enshrined because the hall should only recognize players who stood out on both sides of the baseball, hitting and at least playing the field. Paul Molitor is in, Harold Baines probably won’t get in. Jim Rice is a borderline case too. Should a DH be recognized? For me the game has changed to the extent that a pitcher who throws 1000 innings in his career might get in as a reliever with 350 saves, so following that reasoning the DH, an integral part of AL baseball since 1972 should be recognized too. Edgar won’t get in right away but within 10 years of being on the ballot I think he will be recognized as the great hitter he was.   Marty

2 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

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