The former Dodgers pitcher Pedro Martinez got into the baseball Hall of Fame today in his first year of eligibility, with 91 percent of the vote. Time to look once again at the first two entries in Martinez's Baseball Reference transaction log:
June 18, 1988: Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent.
November 19, 1993: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields.
Yes, after three starts for the Dodgers in 1992 and 1993, the team failed to see that they had their best pitcher in the long span between Koufax and Kershaw. They traded him to Montreal for a forgettable (and mostly forgotten) second baseman. Martinez went on to make 406 other starts, win three Cy Young Awards, and was an All-Star eight times. His record is 209-100 with an ERA of 2.93. He is the second Dominican player ever elected to the Hall of Fame, following Juan Marichal. Congratulations Pedro Martinez, the one that got away.
The baseball writers also elected former USC pitcher Randy Johnson. Among all the pitchers to ever play, he is second all-time in strikeouts. Pitcher John Smoltz and the former Astros great Craig Biggio, a catcher who became a second baseman and a center fielder, were elected too.
Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza fell 28 votes short of election, but his percentage of the vote increased to 69.9 from 62.2 last year, and it now looks like he should get in perhaps as soon as next year. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got just 9 percent of the vote in his final year on the ballot. Dodgers coach Mark McGwire's percentage dropped slightly to 10 percent. Ex-Dodgers Gary Sheffield (11.7 percent) and Nomar Garciaparra (5.5) also got votes.