All-time saves leader Mario Rivera became the first person to earn unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame when he was named on all 425 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, in voting tabulations announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson on Tuesday on the MLB Network.
Rivera was joined by starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina and designated hitter Edgar Martinez as part of the 2019 class to be inducted in Cooperstown on July 21.
“Amazing, amazing,” Rivera said in an interview on the MLB Network. “I have to say Thank God for that. It was a beautiful long career, and to end up with this is amazing.”
Rivera and the late Halladay both made the Hall of Fame on their first attempt. Halladay and Martinez each received 85.4 percent while Mussina was named on 76.7 percent of the ballots. The requirement for induction is 75 percent.
Mussina was chosen in his sixth time on the ballot, while Martinez was chosen on his 10th and final season on the BBWAA ballot.
Martinez received 70.4 percent of the votes last season.
Rivera recorded 652 saves, Halladay pitched the second no-hitter in postseason history, Mussina won 15 or more games on 11 occasions and Martinez topped a .300 batting average 10 times.
Halladay’s life tragically ended at the age of 40 on Nov. 7, 2017 in a plane crash near Tampa, Fla. A report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated the plane Halladay was piloting climbed sharply in the final seconds before plunging into the water.
The quartet joins outfielder/designated hitter Harold Baines and right-handed reliever Lee Smith in the 2019 induction class. Baines and Smith were chosen by the Today’s Game Era Committee in December.
Among those falling short of induction were pitchers Curt Schilling (60.9) and Roger Clemens (59.5) and outfielders Barry Bonds (59.1) and Larry Walker (54.6).
The candidacies of both Clemens and Bonds have been controversial due to suspicions they used illegal performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.
–Field Level Media