At least it wasn’t a complete shutout.
This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was littered with former Dodgers, but when results were announced Tuesday only the diminutive Pedro Martinez earned baseball’s greatest honor.
Martinez was joined by fellow pitchers Randy Johnson and John Smoltz, and second baseman Craig Biggio in the class of 2015.
Not making the cut were ex-Dodgers Mike Piazza, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield, and Manager Don Mattingly, who was in his last year of eligibility.
Players must be named on 75% of the submitted ballots by participating members of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America. Piazza finished fifth, getting named on 69.9% of the ballots, so that acne on his back will probably not ultimately keep him out. He was at 62.2% last year and 57.8 in his first season of eligibility in 2013.
Martinez was a 5-10, 170-pound right-hander who threw lightning, had a terrific rookie season but was mostly known as the younger, smaller brother of Dodgers ace Ramon Martinez. The Dodgers traded him the next season to the Expos for second baseman Delino DeShields.
Former Dodgers General Manager Fred Claire, once asked if he would have done anything differently during his career with the Dodgers, said: “Not trade Pedro Martinez.”
The Expos immediately converted Martinez to a starter and his career absolutely exploded. Maybe the Dodgers unintentionally helped fuel his career, casting doubts that his small frame could withstand the rigors of a major league career.
“I wanted to make everybody my height – really, really small,” Martinez said. “From the top of the mound, I was higher than anybody.”
Martinez kind of made his point. He was the little guy who intimidated. Martinez pitched for 18 seasons, winning 219 games and striking out 3,154. During the nine peak years of his career (1997-2005), he posted a 2.47 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, and averaged 244 strikeouts a year.
“I did it clean,” Martinez said.
In his first year of eligibility, he was named on 91.1% of the ballots.
Along with Piazza, all the other former Dodgers were named on at least 5% of the ballots, the minimum required to return next season (Kent 14%, McGriff 12.9, Sheffield 11.7, Garciaparra 5.5). Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, clouded by steroids, was named on only 10%.