According to the National Baseball hall of fame, “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”
Edgar Martinez embodied these qualities as a player. During his career, Martinez displayed an astounding record of consistency, redefined and dominated his position, and remained a man of great character and integrity as he gradually hit his way toward becoming one of the most revered Seattle Mariners in history.
One of the most feared and dominant hitters during his era (1987-2004), he easily transitioned from an everyday third baseman to a full-time designated hitter and redefined the position, winning the Designated Hitter of the Year award five times. Upon his retirement, the award was renamed the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in his honor.
Martinez is one of just eight players with 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400, and a career slugging percentage higher than .500. Five are in the hall of fame, and the other two are not yet eligible.
With a career on-base percentage of .418, he ranks 18th of all-time. Of the 17 others, ten are in the hall of fame, four are not yet eligible, and one is banned from baseball.
Martinez marked a seven-year stretch from 1995-2001 as a dominant offensive force, hitting .329 with a .446 on-base percentage and a .574 slugging percentage. He’s one of just four players in history to record such a stretch while meeting the following statistical milestones:
The only players to match this level are Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams (both in the hall of fame), and Todd Helton (who is not yet eligible).
In 13 seasons from 1991-2003, Edgar Martinez was in the top 25 of every major offensive category. Since the 1940s, he is one of just six hitters to hit .320 in at least six straight seasons. The others are Stan Musial, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn (all in the hall of fame), and Todd Helton.