Designated hitter Edgar Martinez, starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, and the player many call the greatest relief pitcher of all-time, Mariano Rivera, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2019 class on July 21.
The four star players were voted in by ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Rivera became the first player in history to be unanimously elected into Cooperstown. Ken Griffey Jr. had been the previous highest vote-getter, appeared on 99.3 percent of ballots in 2016.
Rivera, a New York Yankees legend who helped win five World Series titles, spent his entire career with the club, spanning from 1995 to his retirement in 2013. Nicknamed "Sandman" for his request to play the Metallica song each time he was called in to pitch from the bullpen, Rivera is often regarded as not only the greatest closer in baseball history, but one of the best pitchers overall to ever play the game.
"Mo is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and he is the greatest closer of all time," Martinez said in a statement. "It was always a challenge to face him, but I enjoyed the competition, and I like to think he did, too. It is very special for me to be able to share this day and this honor with him."
Rivera has said in the past Martinez was the toughest hitter he faced.
Halladay, nicknamed "Doc," was an elite starting pitcher who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies from 1998 to 2013. A two-time winner of the Cy Young along with eight All-Star appearances, Halladay died tragically in November 2017 when a plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
"I can’t even post a note because of the constant stream of incoming calls and texts," Halladay's wife, Brandy, posted on Facebook. "I am beyond grateful for the love and support we continue to have from each one of you!! We are so proud today, not just because of the Hall of Fame vote, but because of the friends, family and tribe we’ve accumulated throughout these last 20+ years."
Mussina, who spent 18 seasons devastating hitters with his wicked knuckle-curveball, won over 270 games with the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles between 1991 and 2008.
Drafted in the 11th round by the Orioles in 1987, Mussina appeared in five All-Star games and six times he finished in the top 5 for the Cy Young, which is awarded to the league's top pitcher.
Mussina, who graduated from Stanford with an economic degree and played in two COllege World Series, crossed the 75 percent threshold for election by just 1.7 percent.
One of the most-feared hitters of his era, Martinez made seven All-Star appearances during his 18-year career, spent entirely with the Seattle Mariners.
The team tweeted out video of Martinez receiving the good news about his Hall of Fame election.