A Hall of Fame class that features the first player who was primarily a designated hitter to be elected could bode well for David Ortiz's Hall chances when he's eligible in 2022.
Edgar Martinez is the first true DH to be elected to the Hall. His election was announced Tuesday as part of a class of 2019 that features the first-ever unanimously elected player in Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Joining them in Cooperstown this summer will be two starting pitchers, Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay. Each received more than the 75 percent of votes necessary for enshrinement.
They'll join closer Lee Smith and outfielder/DH Harold Baines, whose election by the Today's Game Committee was announced in December.
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Martinez was elected in his final year on the writers' ballot. He set the standard as a DH to the point where the annual award recognizing the best at the position is now named for him.
"Martinez's 2019 election will help to justify that of Ortiz, though not necessarily on the first ballot," wrote Sports Illustrated's Jay Jaffe.
Ortiz's resume includes 541 career home runs - the most for a DH - and his postseason exploits as the linchpin to three Red Sox World Series titles. He has a PED connection - he reportedly failed the supposedly anonymous 2003 survey test. Still, in 2016, commissioner Rob Manfred basically disavowed the veracity of the survey testing.
As for another PED connected ex-Red Sox great, Roger Clemens was named on 59.5 percent of the ballots from Baseball Writers of America voters, 68 votes shy of the 75 percent needed for election. Clemens percentage has continued to rise each year, going from 35.4 percent in 2014 to 57.3 last year.
Ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling also fell shy of election, receiving 60.9 percent of the vote in his sixth year on the ballot.
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An outspoken conservative and supporter of President Donald Trump, Schilling received the president's backing in a tweet on Sunday.
Curt Schilling deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Great record, especially when under pressure and when it mattered most. Do what everyone in Baseball knows is right! @marklevinshow— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2019
Schilling congratulated those elected Tuesday in a tweet.
4 men who absolutely deserved it. They were better men than they were players and their HOF players. Congrats Mo, Doc, Moose and Edgar. You all are deserving! #HOF2019— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) January 22, 2019
Outfielder/DH Manny Ramirez, who failed multiple PED tests after leaving the Red Sox, received 22 percent of the vote in his third year on the ballot. Ex-Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe, infielder Kevin Youkilis, and outfielder Jayson Bay, traded for Manny Ramirez in 2008, were not on any ballots in their first year of eligibility.
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