Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez is still trying to break down barriers. Faced with the stigma that a career designated hitter isn't well-rounded enough to warrant inclusion into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Martinez is up for his second round of voting in 2010. Last year, in the first year he was eligible, Martinez garnered 36.2 percent of the votes, well short of the necessary 75 percent needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Martinez had a great career. But that great career always seem to a quantifying statement; it was a great career for a designated hitter. Expectations are raised because Martinez, spending the majority of his career as a DH, wasn't exposed to the rigors of playing the field.
His power numbers won't blow anyone's socks off. After all, anyone who watched Martinez play knew the strengths of his game. Hitting at a high average, getting on-base and gap-power were trademarks of Martinez in Seattle. His .312 career batting average, .413 on base percentage and .515 slugging percentage are all enough to turn heads, but it appears voters continue to look for more.
It's unlikely Martinez will make the Hall of Fame in 2011. From the early votes made public, his numbers are a bit down compared to last year. At some point, like they have with many other players, it feels like voters will come around, warming-up to the credentials of Martinez. Until then, we're forced to wait, wonder and second guess.