Baseball has its first-ever unanimous Hall of Famer. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will enter the hall with fellow 2019 classmates designated hitter Edgar Martinez, and starting pitchers Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay.
Rivera is the first player to be on 100 percent of writers’ ballots.
The closest anyone had gotten was January 2016, when former Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., received 99.03 percent of the vote.
In order for a player to be selected for the Hall of Fame, he must receive at least 75 percent of votes.
Rivera is widely considered the greatest closer of all time. He posted a 2.21 lifetime ERA and put up an all-time lowest postseason ERA of 0.70.
Additionally, Rivera was the final player to have the distinction of wearing No. 42 as he was already wearing the number when Jackie Robinson entered the Hall of Fame.
Perhaps the most interesting stat was brought forward by former teammate and Yankee legend Derek Jeter who, in his congratulatory essay in The Players’ Tribune, pointed out the fact that “In human history, more people have walked on the moon than have scored an earned run off of Mariano Rivera in the postseason.
“According to NASA, 12 people have had the privilege of walking on the moon. According to Baseball Reference, 11 people have scored an earned run off of Playoff Mo.”
Rivera once said that “The only guy that I didn’t want to face, when a tough situation comes, was Edgar Martínez. The reason is because I couldn’t get him out.” Now the two are Hall of Fame classmates.
Martinez is widely considered to be one of the best designated hitters of all time. The Seattle Mariner batted .312 lifetime with 309 home runs and 2,247 hits. His statistics against his fellow Hall of Fame classmates are worth noting.
Martinez went 11-for-19 (.579) against Rivera, 23-for-75 (.307) with five homers against Mussina and 8-for-18 (.444) against Halladay.
Mussina spent 10 years pitching for the Baltimore Orioles before spending eight years pitching for the Yankees.
His stat sheet boasts a 270-153 record with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts. Never exactly in the spotlight, Mussina did have five All-Star appearances and a second-place finish in the 1999 Cy Young voting, behind Pedro Martinez.
Halladay spent 12 seasons up north pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays before spending his final four with the Philadelphia Phillies.
He finished 203-105 in his career with a 3.38 ERA. Halladay also boasts two Cy-Young Awards, one in each league, as well as his legendary 2010 season.
Halladay became the first player ever to throw a no-hitter in the regular season and then throw another no-hitter in the postseason — his 1-0 perfect game over the Reds that remains only the second-ever perfect game in postseason history.
Halladay is the first person since 1954 to enter the hall posthumously. He died in 2017 in a personal plane accident.
Two of the more controversial figures, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both fell short of obtaining the necessary 75 percent of the vote needed to enter the Hall. Bonds received 59.1 percent while Clemens received 59.5 percent.
Both players have controversial careers tangled in the suspected use of performance enhancing drugs.
While both are slight improvements from last year, the two will need to make more progress in the next few years in order to enter before their final year of eligibility in 2022.
The inductees will be celebrated with Hall of Fame Weekend, which will take place July 19-22, with the actual Induction Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 21.
By: Jack Dunn | U.S. & World News Editor