A commentary by Sunny Cadwallader and Jose M. Romero
Those were the words of my son – lifelong Seattle Mariners fan – today.
What were we talking about? Edgar Martinez being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Martinez became the first designated hitter to ever be elected into Cooperstown.
Mind you, this was at 10:30 am PST that our conversation took place. Long before the announcement, but all signs were pointing to him being elected. Surely, nothing could go wrong.
Mariners fans have lived through their fair share of sports disappointments. Peak Mariner fandom was reached in 1995 – not 2001 – when the M’s reached the American League Championship series.
Dave Niehaus voice: “My Oh My!!!”
And, as recently as this off-season, fans are still coming to grips with the “wait until 2020…or 2021” team mindset.
An organization that has had the likes of Ken Griffey, Jr, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez and Felix Hernandez walk onto the diamond, yet never has it played in a World Series. 2020? 2021?
Which brings us to Edgar Martinez.
Martinez is Mr. Mariner to my son’s generation. I’m old enough to know Alvin Davis – the original “Mr. Mariner” – not only from his M’s days, but also from his Arizona State Sun Devils days. I grew up in Arizona. My father worked at ASU. So yeah, I knew about ASU and Alvin Davis.
There is something similar about the two Mr. Mariners and it can be described in one word: Dedicated. Dedicated to their craft, their team and, especially, to their city.
It is that dedication that drew fans to Martinez. He wasn’t flashy or demanding. He never came across as a “diva”. And, he certainly never showed a desire to leave for greener pasture, if you get my drift.
Nothing went wrong today.
Clemente, Alomar, Cepeda, Rodriguez and now Martinez. The Boricua, Edgar Martinez, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Suddenly, the question of “why it took so long?” is no longer relevant. Not for me. Not for my son. Edgar is a Hall of Famer now.
Oh to be in Maguayo when the party happens.
I didn’t see a Mariners game live in the Kingdome until 1995. And what a year to see baseball in Seattle.
It was Refuse to Lose. Joey Cora. Lou Piniella. Griffey. Randy. And the greatest DH of all time, Edgar Martinez.
The man could flat out hit. All over the field. For power. For average. In the clutch. And never craved the spotlight. He wasn’t going to get it in faraway Seattle anyway.
I could never understand why if the annual MLB award for best DH is named in Edgar’s honor, why he couldn’t get enough votes from the writers. It took a lot of them 10 years to come around, sticking to the belief that a DH that never played a field position didn’t deserve recognition.
But in the end, Edgar could not be denied. And now, I will always be able to say that I saw four Hall of Famers play regularly in the Kingdome and Safeco Field. Griffey, Randy Johnson, Martinez, and one day soon, Ichiro.
A lot of what I had to say about the possibility of this can be found here. But what a special day.