what a class
July 21, 2019

The 2019 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees each left a lasting mark on modern baseball en route to their enshrinement in Cooperstown. Here's a rundown of who's going in and why:

Edgar Martinez — The Seattle Mariners' legend had to wait far too long because voters felt that players who spent the majority of their careers as designated hitters didn't deserve to make it to Cooperstown. Sure, fielding is an essential part of the game, but Martinez was one of the best hitters of his era. In a career that spanned from 1987 to 2004, he slashed .312/.418/.515, won two batting titles, and walked more than he struck out.

Mike Mussina — The cerebral pitcher, who split his career between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, was as consistent as they come, making at least 24 starts every season after his debut year in 1991. Mussina won 270 games, tossed 3,562.2 innings, and compiled a career 3.68 ERA. Mussina was a model fielding pitcher, capturing seven Gold Gloves.

Mariano Rivera — "The Sandman" is arguably the greatest closer in the history of the game and his unanimous election into the Hall speaks to that. Famed for his devastating cutter, which he threw over 85 percent of the time, Rivera, who hails from Panama, helped lead the Yankees to five World Series during his 19-year career. The all-time saves leader won the World Series MVP in 1999 against the Atlanta Braves.

Roy Halladay — Halladay's induction will likely be the most emotional moment of the afternoon. The two-time Cy Young Award winner died in 2017 in a plane crash, so his wife, Brandy, will give a speech on his behalf. He's most famous for hurling just the second-ever no-hitter in a postseason game in the 2010 National League Division Series between the Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.

Two other stellar players, Harold Baines and Lee Smith, are also going into the Hall after the Today's Game Committee voted them in once their eligibility had expired. Tim O'Donnell

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