Former Mariners Randy Johnson (1989-98) and Edgar Martinez (1982-04) are among 34 players on the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot announced Monday. Johnson, who retired following the 2009 season, is one of 17 players eligible for the first time, while Martinez is up for election for the sixth time since his retirement in 2004.
Johnson won five Cy Young Awards – four in the National League with the Arizona Diamondbacks and one in the American League with the Mariners – during a 22-season career in which the lefthander won 303 games and racked up 4,875 strikeouts, second only to Nolan Ryan in MLB history.
Johnson was co-winner of the 2001 World Series Most Valuable Player Award with D-Backs teammate Curt Schilling.
With the Mariners, Johnson won 130 games, recorded 2,162 strikeouts and threw 19 shutouts, including a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers June 2, 1990 in the Kingdome. He represented the Mariners in five All-Star games and won the 1995 Cy Young Award when he went 18-2 and won the league’s ERA title at 2.48.
Johnson also pitched one of the most memorable games in Mariners history, a 9-1 victory over the Angels Oct. 2, 1995 (12 strikeouts, 1 walk) that completed a team rally from 13 games out of first place to reach the postseason for the first time.
Johnson twice fanned 19 while pitching for Seattle: June 24, 1997 vs. Oakland and Aug. 8, 1997 vs. the Chicago White Sox.
The Mariners traded Johnson to the Houston Astros July 31, 1998 for a package that included RHP Freddy Garcia, SS Carlos Guillen and LHP John Halama.
After joining the D-Backs in 1999, Johnson produced the greatest run of his career, winning four Cy Youngs. He won the triple crown of pitching (wins, ERA, strikeouts) in 2002, struck out 20 Cincinnati Reds May 8, 2001 and threw baseball’s 17th perfect game May 18, 2004.
This is the sixth year that Martinez, a two-time AL batting champion (1992, 1995) has been on the HOF ballot. He is one of 10 players — five are in the HOF — to have collected 300+ home runs, 500+ doubles, 1,000+ walks, boast a batting average above .300 and an on-base percentage over .400. But that hasn’t translated into sufficient support.
Needing 75 percent of the vote for election, Martinez received 36.2 percent in 2010, 32.9 in 2011, 36.5 in 2012, 35.9 in 2013 and 25.2 percent last year.
Two other ex-Mariners are also among the 34 HOF nominees. Rich Aurilia spent part of the 2004 season in Seattle, batting .241, and Eddie Guardado saved 59 games over the 2004-05 seasons.
Other notable first-time eligibles include pitchers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, infielder Nomar Garciaparra and outfielder Gary Sheffield.
The full 2015 ballot, listed alphabetically: Rich Aurilia, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Roger Clemens, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Troy Percival, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Jason Schmidt, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, John Smoltz, Sammy Sosa, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker.
Well deserved honor for the Big Unit. Understandably, he’ll most likely go into the HOF as a D-Back and be more remembered for his time there but in Seattle he’ll always be remembered as the Big Unit who got the first club no-hitter and came out of the ‘pen in ’95 to propel the club into the ALCS. Hope he brings up in his speech that Edgar deserves a spot in the HOF someday.
Randy is clearly a first ballot HOF. Too bad he’s going ins a D back, as his time in Seattle was thrilling and to see him mature from a wild thrower to a pitcher was a transformation that happened in Seattle and something I will never forget. When he went to AZ he was the mature pitcher in the “established” part of his career.
Too bad Edgar was so one-dimensional, as a DH, but he was the best all-time and truly established the DH as a force.