Where Edgar ranks in Mariners history:
- Games played—1st (2055, ahead of Ichiro’s 1844)
- Plate appearances—1st (8674, ahead of Ichiro’s 8483)
- On-base percentage—1st (.418, second highest is Ken Phelps’ .392)
- Runs scored—1st (1219, ahead of Ichiro’s 1176)
- RBI—1st (1261, ahead of Griffey’s 1216)
- Doubles—1st (514, ahead of Griffey’s 341)
- Walks—1st (1283, ahead of Griffey’s 819)
- Total bases—1st (3718, ahead of Griffey’s 3495)
- Batting average—2nd (.312, behind Ichiro’s .322)
- Hits—2nd (2247, behind Ichiro’s 2533)
- Home runs—2nd (309, behind Griffey’s 417)
- Slugging percentage—4th (.515, behind A-Rod, Griffey, and Phelps)
Edgar has the top five seasons in Mariners’ history in on-base percentage, including an incredible .479 mark in 1995.
This year is the seventh year for Edgar on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Because of a recent rule change, he will only have 10 years on the ballot. Previously, players were allowed 15 years on the ballot as long as they got 5% of the vote each year. Players need 75% of the vote to get into the Hall of Fame.
Many writers have not supported Edgar for the Hall of Fame in part because he was a Designated Hitter for many years. Also, because he didn’t get established with the Mariners until he was 27 years old, he doesn’t have the playing time that many Hall of Fame players have. Edgar also walked quite often, which gave him a terrific .418 career on-base percentage, but also limited the number of hits he had (2247). Edgar ranks 171st all-time in hits and 46th in walks. He’s 81st in Times on Base, ahead of many current Hall of Fame Players.
Ichiro is on the cusp of 3000 hits in the major leagues. He needs 65 more hits to reach that mark and has re-signed to play with the Miami Marlins for next season. Even if he doesn’t get there, he’s likely to make the Hall of Fame anyway.
It’s interesting to note, though, that Edgar has reached base more times than Ichiro despite having 1427 fewer plate appearances. Ichiro has more hits, more runs, more stolen bases, and has a slightly higher batting average, but Edgar tops him in times on base, home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Both versions of WAR (Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs) have Edgar comfortably more valuable. WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement. By this metric, Edgar provided 9-10 more wins above a replacement level player than Ichiro has.
It’s disappointing that Edgar’s support for the Hall of Fame has dropped over the years, but there is hope that his percentage will increase significantly this year.
On last year’s ballot, Edgar was named on 27.4% of the ballots that the writers made public and 26.0% of the non-public ballots. The early results for this year are encouraging. Nearly 31% of the Hall of Fame voters this year have made their votes known to the public and Edgar has been named on 48.9% of those ballots. If he sees a similar increase in the non-public ballots, he should come in right around 48% this year. That would give him three more years to try to get up to the 75% he needs for induction.
By the way, Ken Griffey, Jr. has been named on 100% of the ballots already made public. He’s a lock to make the Hall of Fame and will be on the stage in Cooperstown next summer giving his induction speech. Let’s hope he has some nice things to say about his old teammate, Edgar Martinez. After all, it was Edgar who hit “The Double” that scored Griffey in what is perhaps the greatest moment in Mariners history.