2019 MLB Hall of Famers

Posted by Custom Throwback Jerseys on 15th May 2019

Cooperstown, New York is a tiny community known for basically one thing: It’s the site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Only about 2,000 permanent residents live in Cooperstown, but every July about ten times that many people arrive from all over the country for the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony that takes place at the Clark Sports Center.

In 2019, six modern-day legends were admitted to the Hall of Fame: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, Mike Mussina, Harold Baines, and Lee Smith. That means six new plaques were added to the collection on the first floor of the museum. If you visit Cooperstown in 2019, you’ll be able to see 329 of those plaques, each of them representing an individual who has been inducted into the Hall of Fame—probably the highest honor in the sport of baseball.

Let’s take this opportunity to learn more about the Class of 2019 .

How the Class of 2019 Got In

2019 MLB Hall Of Famers

Some people get confused by the voting procedure for the Hall of Fame (it doesn’t help that they keep changing the rules), so here’s a brief rundown:

  • Potential inductees are voted on by active members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). The BBWAA is an independent organization authorized by the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., to elect candidates to Cooperstown glory.
  • BBWAA voters must have been active as baseball writers and BBWAA members for at least ten years.
  • Eligible players must have played at least ten seasons in the Major Leagues. Their career must have occurred, at least in part, during the period that begins 20 years before and ends 5 years before the BBWAA vote.
  • Players can be listed on the BBWAA ballot for a maximum of ten years. If they don’t make the Hall of Fame after ten attempts, they become ineligible for future ballots. (Players who don’t get in the Hall of Fame during their eligibility period can be voted in at a later date by the Eras Committees.)
  • The BBWAA voting ballot consists of an alphabetical list of candidates who received a vote on at least 5% of the previous year's ballots, along with first-time players who were nominated by the BBWAA Screening Committee. Individuals officially banned from Major League Baseball cannot be listed on the ballot (sorry, Pete!).
  • BBWAA voters can pick up to ten players. No write-in voting allowed.
  • Any candidate who receives votes on at least 75% of the ballots is admitted into the Hall of Fame. There is no maximum number of candidates who can be admitted in any given year.

Top Baseball Players of 2019

For the 2019 vote, 425 ballots were cast by BBWAA members. Candidates needed 319 votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2019 made history as Mariano Rivera became the first player ever to get a vote on every BBWAA ballot (425 out of 425). Prior to this, the nearest anyone had ever come to getting a unanimous vote was Ken Griffey, Jr., who sailed into the Hall of Fame in 2016 with 437 votes on 440 ballots (99.32%).

The BBWAA voting for the other newly minted Hall of Famers went as follows:

  • Roy Halladay: 363 votes (85.41%)
  • Edgar Martinez: 363 votes (85.41%)
  • Mike Mussina: 326 votes (76.71%)

Lee Smith and Harold Baines were both voted in by the Today's Game Committee, which considers the contributions of BBWAA-ineligible candidates active from 1988 and later.

This was the first appearance on the ballot for Halladay and Rivera. Martinez was elected in his tenth and final year of eligibility.

There were no near-miss candidates this year. Among the unsuccessful candidates, the one who came closest to the 319-vote cutoff was Curt Schilling, who received 259 mentions in his 7 th year on the BBWAA ballot.


The Six Inductees for 2019

Each of the 2019 Hall of Famers racked up impressive achievements on the diamond. Here’s a brief overview of their individual accomplishments:

  • Mariano Rivera – The master of the cut fastball (cutter), Mariano played his entire 19-year career (1995-2013) with the New York Yankees , serving as the team's closer for most of that time and winning five World Series rings. This right-hander is widely considered the best reliever in MLB history, and it's easy to see why. He holds the record for career saves (652), and his 2.21 ERA is the all-time best in the live-ball (1920-present) era. He’s also a 13-time MLB All-Star, five-time American League Rolaids Relief Man Award, and three-time Delivery Man of the Year award for best reliever.
  • Roy Halladay – An imposing figure at 6'6", Halladay spent most of his pitching career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He led his league in complete games no fewer than seven times, and his overall achievements on the mound earned him two Cy Young Awards. He was also responsible for pitching the 20th perfect game in MLB history, on May 29, 2010. Tragically, Halladay died on November 7, 2017, when the plane he was piloting crashed off the Florida coast. This marks the first time since 1973 that the BBWAA has voted a player posthumously into the Hall of Fame.
  • Edgar Martínez – The Seattle Mariners' reliable designated hitter and third baseman, Martinez is best remembered for his game-winning two-run double off the Yankees’ Jack McDowell in Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series. His achievements hardly end there, though. He's a seven-time All-Star and five-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award, and he also claimed the American League's batting championship in 1992 and 1995. When he retired in 2004, he was one of only six Major League players in history to end their career with stats that matched or surpassed all the following: .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 300 home runs, and 500 doubles.
  • Mike Mussina – Over an 18-year career as a pitcher, Mussina racked up at least ten wins 17 times, and he ended up with 270 total victories on the mound. He concluded his career in 2008 on a high point, after achieving his only 20-win season. That made Mussina the oldest (age 39) pitcher to reach his first 20-win season. Noted for his consistent performance, Mussina placed among the top five in Cy Young Award voting on six occasions, and he’s also a seven-time Gold Glove winner.Aerial View of a MLB Baseball Field
  • Lee Smith – A skilled reliever who played for eight teams over his 18-year career, Smith retired in 1998 with 478 saves, which at the time was the MLB record (he's currently number 3 on the list). He was the MLB season saves leader four times: 1983, 1991, 1992, and 1994. It’s for good reason that Smith is considered one of the very best one-inning closers in the history of the sport. He also pitched 546 straight games without a fielding error—still a National League record.
  • Harold Baines – In a career that spanned from 1980 to 2001, Baines played 1643 games as a designated hitter (an MLB record until David Ortiz broke it in 2014). You can add a few more numbers to his impressive stats: 384 home runs, 1628 RBIs, 2866 hits, and six All-Star selections. In 2005, he won his only World Series ring as bench coach for the Chicago White Sox.

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