Earlier this morning, the BBWAA revealed its complete 2011 Hall of Fame ballot, and listed among the 19 new candidates are former Tino Martinez, John Olerud, and Bret Boone.
None of these players, of course, will end up inducted, and they join other never-wills like Bobby Higginson and B.J. Surhoff - two guys who, incidentally, were named in countless Mariner trade rumors back in the day yet somehow never wound up coming north. These players, and others, now get to sit back and watch themselves fall off the ballot in a disgraceful display of post-career disrespect.
But I'm sure they'd say that even being placed on the ballot just once is an honor, so it's worth taking this opportunity to quickly reflect on what these three players meant to the Mariners organization.
- Tino was with the Mariners from 1990-1995, posting an .801 OPS before getting traded to the Jim Mecir and Jeff Nelson in exchange for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock. While he was traded at the beginning of his prime, he never really went on to get much better, his insane 1997 aside. Constantino Martinez by birth, he's remembered as being Edgar Martinez's brother by complete racists. His career OPS+ with Seattle is tied with those of David Segui and Mike Cameron. with
- Olerud was with the Mariners for four and a half seasons, posting a .388 OBP. It's the third-highest OBP in Mariners history, behind Edgar and Ken Phelps, but because he leaned so heavily on walks and didn't run well or hit for much power, Olerud was kind of boringly effective in the way that you don't miss until you suffer through the career of Yuniesky Betancourt. 50% of his Mariner triples went towards hitting for the cycle.
- Boone was with the Mariners twice, and posted an .885 OPS between 2001-2003 as a solid defensive second baseman. His 2001 was one of the very best middle infielder seasons of all time, but he had the misfortune of doing that in the same year that Ichiro came over and Jason Giambi OPS'd 1.137 (Ichiro really shouldn't have won that MVP). The decline wasn't pretty, and reports of Boone's activity in retirement have been anything but positive, but more people need to understand how good Boone really was for a few years. No righty has ever done a better job of conquering the Safe.
Results of the voting will be announced on January 5th. Remember that Edgar will be on the ballot again after picking up 36.2% of the votes a year ago as a new candidate. You might remember 36.2% as also being the percentage of overweight Houston children between the ages of 6-17. Think about it.