Mariano, the perfect first unanimous selection. Halladay, Edgar, Mussina fantastic choices as well. Love this class.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 22, 2019
Mariano Rivera, appearing on his first ballot, becomes the first unanimous inductee ever. He spent his entire 19-year career with the New York Yankees, saving 652 games, an all-time record, and recording a 2.21 ERA.
A 13-time All-Star, he received votes for either the Cy Young award or MVP in 11 different seasons. The only pitch in his repertoire was a cut fastball that was known for breaking countless bats throughout his career.
Rivera’s legend was solidified in the postseason. During October, he won five World Series titles and was named the MVP of the 1999 World Series and 2003 ALCS. What’s more remarkable is that his playoff ERA was 0.70, allowing only 11 earned runs in 141 innings.
Roy Halladay is also elected on his first year on the ballot, garnering 85.4 percent of the vote. His posthumous election comes after a career that saw him pitch 16 seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, winning 203 games.
In terms of career accolades, he pitched to a 3.38 ERA and won two Cy Young awards. His reputation was as a work horse. That shows by his pitching over 200 innings eight times, including leading the league four times. He led the league in complete games seven times and shutouts four times. While not a prolific strikeout pitcher, he still struck out 200 batters five times.
In 2010, Halladay threw a perfect game against the then Florida Marlins and threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the postseason.
Edgar Martinez gets in during his tenth and final year on the ballot, also receiving 85.4 percent of the vote. He was one of the first, great full-time designated hitters. Martinez spent his entire 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners.
He hit .312/.418/.515 for his career, winning two batting titles and thrice leading the league in on-base percentage. Seven All-Star appearances and five Silver Slugger awards can also be found on his resume. The 2000 RBI leader drove in 100 runs in a season six times and hit 514 doubles.
Martinez slashed .571/.667/1.000 in the 1995 ALDS against the Yankees. He hit the walk-off double in extra innings of game 5 to win the Mariners their ever postseason series.
Mike Mussina earns induction on his sixth ballot where he received 76.7 percent of the vote. A consistently excellent pitcher throughout his 18-year career, Mussina played with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. He won 270 games and had a .638 winning percentage.
Mussina pitched his entire career in the AL East during one of strongest offensive eras in baseball history. 60 percent of his starts came in small parks like Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, and Fenway Park, and he compiled over 3,500 innings and a 3.68 ERA.
Mussina recorded a 3.42 ERA in 139.2 postseason innings, putting on some iconic performances in October. These performances include a 15 strikeout game against the Cleveland Indians during the 1997 ALCS, pitching seven scoreless innings against the Oakland A’s with the Yankees down 0-2 in the 2001 ALDS, and pitching three scoreless innings in relief to help the Yankees come back and win game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.
Every year, there are notable snubs that do not get the support some feel they deserve.
First of all, Fred McGriff, in his final year on the ballot, failed to get the necessary 75 percent for induction. He hit 493 home runs with 1,550 RBIs in 19 seasons but received just 39.8 percent of the vote.
Another arguable snub is Curt Schilling, who won 216 games and struck out over 3,000 batters. He had the highest vote total of anyone who was not elected at 60.6 percent.
Barry Bonds, the all-time home run leader, and seven-time MVP only received 59.1 percent of the vote. Roger Clemens, winner of 354 games and seven Cy Young awards only got 59.5 percent of the vote. Both players were on the ballot for the seventh time and saw little improvement from last season.
Being inducted to Cooperstown is the greatest honor a player can receive, and this class exemplifies what it means to be a Hall of Famer.
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