This Day in Baseball History: June 26th, 2003

Yes, third base is not a typo. He didn’t become a full-time DH until 1995.

On June 26, 2003:

Edgar Martinez knocks in two runs.

When people think of great Seattle Mariners, the first guys that come to mind are Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson. Edgar Martinez falls farther down on the list, but I guess that’s okay. The other 3 are Hall of Fame-bound, and Martinez is borderline due to his career as an almost exclusive DH. Martinez, however, was an offensive force. For his career, he hit .312/.418/.515 (147 OPS+) with 309 HR and 1261 RBI while being one of the few guys with more walks (1283) than strikeouts (1202) in his career.

As for Mariners history, Martinez tops the list in a lot of categories — games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, total bases, walks, and on-base percentage. Most of those are pretty secure. Ichiro could possibly take the runs and hits categories away from him, but Martinez was too good and played his entire career in Seattle, all 18 seasons. On June 26, 2003, Martinez took over one more category — runs batted in. He knocked in two runs to give him 1176 RBI’s, just edging Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1175. Martinez went on to knock in 1261 runs, so Griffey won’t likely break that unless he can weasel another year out of the Mariners.

But here’s the question about Martinez — is he Hall of Fame worthy? According to Baseball-Reference, both Black Ink and Grey Ink say he’s pretty far away from being in the Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Fame Monitor has him in pretty easily. The Hall of Fame Monitor assesses how likely it is that he will get in and not necessarily how deserving, and Martinez’s 131 is rated as a cinch. So which is it? Hall or no Hall? Will his role as a DH kill his chances, or will people look at him as one of the great all-time DHs and put him in? Should he be in? Decision time starts next year, so start thinking about it.

Trivia Time
Edgar Martinez is 39th on the all-time list in doubles. Who is first?

Wednesday’s Answer –> Willie Stargell


6 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: June 26th, 2003”

  1. Bill Says:

    Tris Speaker, right? Unless Biggio took it from him without my noticing?

    I lived in the Seattle area for several years, and to Mariners fans:
    Junior > Edgar > Randy > Buhner > Alvin Davis >>>>> A-Rod.

    Obviously you're right about how they're viewed nationally, but Edgar is very much an icon up there.

    He was a pretty fair 3B when he played it, incidentally–his knees were just too fickle for the organization to justify risking losing his bat by continuing to put him out there.

    My vote is absolutely, unquestionably yes. He was right up there with Big Frank (also a DH) as the best right-handed hitter in the AL throughout most of the 90s, and that's good enough for me. He added more to his team by not playing defense than guys like Willie Stargell did by playing it, so I don't see the problem there.

  2. Kelric Says:

    My first guess was Cobb, but I think Bill's selection of Speaker is correct.

  3. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Buhner's that high? Cool. I always liked him, and he's from Kentucky.

    As for Martinez in the Hall, it's a tough call. He was a great hitter, and on that basis, I would put him in. In addition, there are plenty of poor fielders in the Hall, so how can one keep him out for not going out there? However, was he a good enough hitter to counteract the value lost defensively (and positionally)? I'm not necessarily against putting him in. I'm just not positive that he does deserve to be in.

  4. Ron Rollins Says:

    Bill, not to say your wrong, but I did security for the Mariners for two years. This is how I saw it.

    Buhner > Edgar > Moyer > Alvin > Junior > Johnson >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Rodriguez

  5. Bill Says:

    Ron, that's how you saw it personally, or that's how you thought Mariners fans saw it? Because for most M's fans, I think there's room for a lot of argument on the list as a whole, but that Junior is waaaay up on top.

  6. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Do you think the love for Griffey died down a little when he wanted out of Seattle?

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