The voters have submitted their ballots and as a result, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame will get their first ever unanimous inductee: former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Since hanging up the cleats at the conclusion of the 2013 season, many voters and fans have been waiting for Rivera’s name to be entered among the many greats that grace the hall of fame. Many had hope Mariano would be the first unanimous selection and the voters evidently agreed.
Joining Rivera in the 2019 class will be former teammate, pitcher Mike Mussina, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez and the late Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay. Others players who have received votes but did not earn the required 75 percent of votes to qualify to make in this year were pitcher Curt Schilling, left fielder Barry Bonds, pitcher Roger Clemens, right fielder Larry Walker, shortstop Omar Vizquel, and first baseman Fred McGriff.
There is a lot of skepticism regarding Bonds and Clemens constantly being left out of the Hall of Fame after both were caught taking performance enhancing drugs (PED) during the primes of their respective careers. Because of the PED charges, many people will put an asterisk on their accomplishments, and accuse them of cheating. But when it came to Mariano Rivera, there were no questions to be had. Rivera is arguably the most dominant relief pitcher this league has ever seen. He debuted in the majors in 1995 and his dominant career went through the 2013 season. He spent all 18 of his seasons with the New York Yankees, was selected to the All-Star Game 13 times and won five World Series championships while posting a career ERA of 2.21 with 652 saves.
Along with Rivera is former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina. Mussina debuted in 1991 for the Orioles and pitched for them until joining the Yankees in 2001. This was Mussina’s sixth year of Hall of Fame eligibility after retiring in 2008. Mussina never won a World Series but he was a five time All-Star and received seven Gold Glove awards.
Roy Halladay also makes this year’s ballot nearly two years after he was tragically killed due to an impairment to his motor skills while operating his personal plane, resulting in him crashing into the ocean off of the coast of Florida. Halladay pitched for the Blue Jays from 1998 through 2009 season until he with dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies where he would finish his career following the conclusion of the 2013 season. Halladay finished his career as an eight time All-star, two time Cy Young award winner, and pitched a perfect game in 2010.
Edgar Martinez comes in as the only hitter on this year’s ballot. The former Seattle Mariners pitcher spent his whole 17 year career with team from 1987 through 2004. Martinez was selected to seven All-star games and won five Silver Slugger awards. These greats have had extremely successful long careers and their time has finally come where they will be forever enshrined in the Hall of Fame.