Day 90 (of 187) Edgar and why change is hard, but get out the rye bread and the mustard, @11EdgarMartinez of the @mariners finally in #HOF2019
Maybe it’s peers. Playing next to Ken Griffey Jr means everyone is in a big shadow. And of course Randy Johnson had a screaming fastball (and somehow my little am/fm radio could get Seattle’s 710 station that carried Mariners games let me hearhis first no-hitter in rural B.C. in 1990). And a hotshot roomie named A-Rod also got a lot of attention.
Maybe it’s location. Pacific Northwest teams travel more than any other sports franchises, so perhaps distance matters….but finally on the last opportunity on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Edgar Martinez was elected into the Hall Of Fame.
Maybe it’s position. I remember the injury that meant a talented third baseman would be spending his career in the “American League Only” position of Designated Hitter. A position that many traditionalists have indicated should not have a place in Major League Baseballs Hall of Fame (despite relief pitchers being in the game with less frequency…..)
Maybe it was jealousy. Pitchers admitted hating facing Edgar. Even when Ichiro was setting records with the number of hits, pitchers (like unanimous selection Mariano Rivera admitted hating when he had to face Edgar because for some reason, whatever the pitch, Gar had a strategy.
Was it the stats? 7 all-Star appearances is not uncommon for elite players. A lifetime .312 batting average isn’t easy to come by though. 2 time batting champ (7 times in top 10);
Oh yeah, MLB named an award after him….for the most outstanding DH…..no big deal I guess…..
Was it the moments. The double: https://youtu.be/LWYQwDgICug
The Macklemore song that came from Edgar’s moment: https://youtu.be/hvNQWQSwmow
Maybe it was because he was different (and here is the education connection) – he was a fabulous hitter. He changed his approaches. He was known – especially by the opposition. Bone (Jay Buhner) may have been a risk for a home run, but Edgar would do what Ichiro later became famous for: hit it where they ain’t https://youtu.be/vMScbjYzV6A He was too old to be a prospect. He wasn’t like most players – his rise was not as clear cut as some of his teammates. But he did rise to an elite level!
His portfolio is full. But portfolios are different – or that should be: differentiated. More than just a comparison between students/athletes, a look back at an individuals growth over time. 5 silver slugger awards. 5 times getting votes as MVP. His doubles. His consistency. He proved he was different. It’s why fans still wear No 11 jerseys to Mariners games and get thumbs ups. His accomplishments are not full of #1 all time stats and arguments for the Hall of Fame is that their ports should be for gears, not “very goods”. But when you look at everything Edgar has done, he has proven to be one of the most consistent hitters of all time; to have created respect for a “made up position” (as traditionalists would argue); he helped show that change can be good and that just because we used to focus more on some stats, maybe we should be looking at more components to who the player/student is.
So today, proudly wear my Mariners colours to honour Edgar Martinez. Because now that he is entrenched in the hall of Fame, that even the most traditionalist of institutes can change, which means efolios instead of transcripts….that’s what’s on deck! Thank you Edgar for the decades of inspiration!