Former Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez fell short of election for the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Martinez earned 70.4 percent of the votes from the voting contingent of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He received 297 of the 422 votes cast. He would have needed 317 votes to eclipse the 75 percent threshold needed for induction into the Hall of Fame, leaving him 20 votes shy.
"Getting 70.4 percent is a big improvement," Martinez said on a conference call with reporters. "All I can think right now is it's looking good for next year. Would have been great to get in this year but it looks good for next year.
It's still a significant step forward for Martinez as he heads into his final year of eligibility on the ballot next year. Martinez received 58.6 percent of the vote last year. His jump to 70.4 percent marks a 12-point gain on the ballot. Also working in Martinez's favor is the fact that no player to ever earn 70 percent of the vote has failed to reach the Hall of Fame.
Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman all made the Hall of Fame this year. That's four worthy candidates off the ballot for next year, which should work in Martinez's favor as well.
"So far I haven’t gotten nervous," he said. "I thought there was a chance but for some reason I didn’t think this year was going to happen, especially looking at the track for the last week or so. I was fine with it. I didn't have high expectations.
"I knew it usually tends to go down when they make the count so I didn't pay much attention to the tracker after that and just waited for the results."
Martinez will have his last chance to be voted in by the writers next year. However, if he were to fall short again, he'd still be eligible for induction eventually by the Eras Committee (formerly called the Veterans Committee).
Photo Credit: ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 13: Designated hitter Edgar Martinez #11 of the Seattle Mariners at bat during the game against the Anaheim Angels on April 13, 2004 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Angels, playing in their first home game of the season, won 7-5. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)