Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Jeff Idelson, the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, made the official announcement of the 2019 Hall of Fame induction class earlier today on MLBNetwork. This year, the Today’s Game Veterans Committee and the BBWAA have elected 6 players to forever be remembered in the annals of Major League Baseball History. Joining them, will be two great Yankees pitchers, with their inductions into the halls of Cooperstown, NY.

These two amazing Yankees pitchers will join 26 other Yankees players, executives, and managers in Cooperstown this summer.

The first Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, who will spur much debate about what cap he will be wearing in Cooperstown, with 76.7% of the vote, starting pitcher: Mike Mussina.

In his 18-Year Career, Mussina collected 83.0 WAR, pitched to an ERA of 3.86, and a WHIP of 1.192 over 3562.2 innings while pitching exclusively in the AL East. Even with his 5 All-Star Games, and 7 Gold Glove awards, Mussina’s case for the Hall of Fame had been greatly debated.

The second Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, and the first ever player to be elected unanimously by the BBWAA, with 100% of the vote, and is- without a doubt- the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history: Mariano Rivera.

In his 19-Year Career, Mariano collected 56.2 WAR, set the career record for Saves with 652, and pitched to an ERA of 2.21, and a WHIP of 1.000 over 1283.2 innings. In addition to his 13 All-Star Games, and 5 World Series Rings, Rivera’s advanced stats also paint the picture an amazing pitcher.

Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina join fellow BBWAA 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee’s: Roy Halladay (RHP) and Edgar Martinez (DH/3B); alongside Veteran’s Committee Inductee’s: Lee Smith (RHP) and Harold Baines (DH/OF).

Congratulations to all the players above on Baseball Immortality and Welcome to Cooperstown!

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MY HOF BALLOT - EXPLAINED

MY HOF BALLOT - EXPLAINED

Congratulations to Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman in being elected to the Hall of Fame. Adding in Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, and it looks like a great Class of 2018!

Back on December 6th, Paul published the results of the Hall of Faming voting of SSTN’s writers, had we an official vote. This was the first time I had participated in an exercise such as this, and found it to be great fun.

For the most part.

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Guerrero, Hoffman, Jones, and Thome Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Guerrero, Hoffman, Jones, and Thome Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

As we honor our favorite and most memorable Yankees on this website from short anecdotes of meeting them to inspiring stories of their struggles in the Major Leagues, it is also our honor to congratulate the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class- even if none of them happened to play for the Yankees- of: Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Edgar Martinez, and Jim Thome.

We would also like to congratulate the former Yankees who were on this ballot, of which there are too many to list. However, I would like to highlight my favorite player of all-time: Hideki Matsui. However, I digress, and in the article, you will find a quick story about each of these players and their connections (some drastic, some not-so-much) to the New York Yankees during and after their playing careers.

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Bert Campaneris-Forgotten Yankee

Bert Campaneris-Forgotten Yankee

At 41, Campy seemed like a player from another era. He had started his career with the A’s when they were still in Kansas City and called the Athletics. He had gone on to a long career and was the solid fielding shortstop and frequent leadoff hitter on the A’s from 1971-5 when the team won five straight divisions and three World Series. Campaneris was not quite as well known as Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson or Vida Blue, but he was just behind them. He signed with the Rangers as a free agent following the 1976 season, but while continuing to play well faded from the baseball spotlight pretty quickly.

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Revisiting Ron Guidry

Revisiting Ron Guidry

Ron Guidry was a great pitcher, but the arguments against putting him in the Hall of Fame are clear. He had a short career and was only an impact player from 1977-1985. Other than 1978, he was never the best pitcher in the American League. He has much fewer wins that most Hall of Fame starting pitchers. On balance, I would not place Guidry on the top of my list of players who have been overlooked by Cooperstown, but the problem with selecting somebody who is so clearly under qualified as Jack Morris is that it makes it easy to make arguments for people like Guidry, and yes Tommy John, Rich Reuschel and Luis Tiant as well. Morris’s election was more of a statement by the Hall of Fame than a true recognition of greatness, but it was a very strange statement.

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Three Yankees for the Hall of Fame

Three Yankees for the Hall of Fame

Six one time Yankees are on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. The six Yankees are: Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Hideki Matsui, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield. A seventh, Fred McGriff, was traded to the Blue Jays for a journeyman pitcher named Dale Murray while still in the minors. That remains one of the worst trades in Yankee history. The six Yankees include one very good player, Mastui, who despite his heroics in the 2009 World Series, is not a serious candidate and will likely get little support. Another candidate, Roger Clemens, has unequivocal Hall of Fame credentials as the best pitcher of his generation, but has been associated with PED use. The debate around Clemens is essentially a steroids debate about which pretty much everybody has already made up their mind. My position is that If I had a vote, I would vote for Clemens and Barry Bonds, but the remaining five candidates on the ballot are all more interesting from a purely baseball perspective.

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Luis Tiant and Tommy John for the Hall of Fame

Luis Tiant and Tommy John for the Hall of Fame

The Cooperstown case for John is based on having had a long and very good, if never quite great, career and for the larger impact he had on baseball. For Tiant, his very impressive peak, relative longevity, including 229 wins and just short of 3,500 innings pitched, are a big part of his case, but there is more to Tiant than that. He was a reliable big game pitcher and one of the first great Cuban stars to make it to the big leagues. Starting pitchers are not well represented in Cooperstown. Tiant and John are among the best of their era who are not in yet, so electing them would begin to rectify that and perhaps open the door to even more qualified pitchers, like longtime Yankee Mike Mussina, from later eras. And, for what its worth, both were better pitchers than Jack Morris who may just get in on some kind of strange sympathy vote this year.

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Yankee Hall of Fame Candidates-Don Mattingly

Yankee Hall of Fame Candidates-Don Mattingly

Yankee fans probably need to accept not only that Don Mattingly is not getting into the Hall of Fame and that despite his four great years in pinstripes, he did not quite earn that honor. However, if Steve Garvey gets in and Mattingly does not, Yankee fans would be very justified in feeling their man was not treated fairly by the voters.

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