Tino Martinez honored to join McGriff on Hall of Fame ballot
Tino Martinez has joined Fred McGriff as Tampa natives and former Rays on the new Hall of Fame ballot released today.
Martinez, the longtime Yankee who spent the 2004 season with the Rays, is one of 19 new candidates on the ballot, joining the 14 holdovers from last year's election.
"Obviously it's a great honor just to be on the ballot and get any kind of consideration,'' Martinez said. "Obviously it's a longshot; I don't think I played long enough to get in the Hall of Fame, but just the chance to be on there is an honor.''
McGriff received 116 votes (21.5 percent) last year in his first year of eligibility; candidates can remain on the ballot for 15 years as long as they are named on at least 5 percent of the ballots cast.
Martinez said "it's pretty neat" to be on the ballot with McGriff and hopes to see McGriff elected. "Fred had an unbelievable career,'' Martinez said. "I think he definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and hopefully he gets there eventually.''
For comparison sake:
Seasons 16 19
Games played 2023 2460
Average .271 .284
Hits 1,925 2,490
Homers 339 493
RBIs 1,271 1,550
OPS .815 .886
Other big names among the newcomers includes former two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez, NL MVP Jeff Bagwell, NL MVP Larry Walker and Rafael Palmeiro, who is one of four players in history with more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. The two near-misses among the holdovers are Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar. Also heldover will be the debate over the impact of performance enhancing drugs on some of the candidates.
Results of this year's election will be announced Jan. 5.