If I asked you what the biggest comeback win in Mariners history was, what would you say?
Would you take me literally, and cite the 10-run deficit in San Diego a couple years ago? The game the M’s won, 16-13, after trailing 12-2 after five innings - representing the largest comeback win in franchise history.
Or more likely, would it be the Mariners’ most iconic moment: the 11th inning comeback in Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS, thanks to “The Double” from Edgar Martinez?
I ask the question, because we’re on the verge of another improbable comeback in Mariners history – one I’d argue would be the franchise’s best comeback since that seminal moment.
Only five years ago, Edgar Martinez received just 25 percent of Hall of Fame votes. Four years ago, just 27 percent. With just four years of eligibility left, the “Edgar to Cooperstown” Campaign was essentially on life support.
But as of tonight, in his final year of eligibility, Edgar has received 90 percent of the known votes, according to Ryan Thibodaux, who’s become the authority on tracking Hall of Fame Ballots. Edgar needs 75 percent of the overall vote to make it in.
The announcement is this Tuesday.
According to Thibodaux’s tracking website, Edgar, who was only 20 votes short of reaching the Hall last year, has already picked up a net of 19 new votes this year. That means, of the approximately 211 remaining ballots, assuming everyone who voted for him last year votes for him again, he basically needs just one person who didn’t vote for him last year to give him the nod this time around.
One guy. One crabby, crusty traditionalist. One more person who finally sees the light this year, just like well-respected baseball guys like Bob Nightengale or Jon Heyman finally did. One more voter who has seemingly held double-standards for players in specialty roles – refusing to vote for a designated hitter while being perfectly fine voting for a closer.
We’ve discussed it before, but I believe Edgar Martinez belongs in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Fortunately, the Mariners PR department has led the charge, leading the campaign and providing relevant numbers to prove that point. It’s a cause that’s gained significant momentum every year, resulting in a double-digit percentage increase in votes the last three years.
On Tuesday, I expect Edgar to get that much-deserved call. It would represent a comeback win for this organization – arguably its best comeback since Edgar’s double clinched that memorable win in 1995.
Gar’s induction should be a moment this city should cherish just as much.