Edgar Martinez's quest to reach the Hall Of Fame has been frustrating for some, but Edgar has always handled it with class.
It's been a nine-year odyssey that, for me, drew parallels to the journey of recent Pro Football Hall Of Fame inductee Morten Andersen.
Both men signed their first professional contracts in 1982. Andersen, a fourth-round draft pick. Edgar, a free agent.
Andersen played 25 years, Edgar played 23.
They put up hall of fame-worthy numbers, yet they played positions that garnered very little respect among hall of fame voters.
I'm talking about the designated hitter and the placekicker.
Throughout Andersen's 25-year NFL career, he knew the knock on kickers -- they're not real football players, although it's tough to argue their contributions to the sport. Eagles fans sure loved Jake Elliott earlier this season when he kicked a 61-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Giants. A kick that, in the end, gave the Eagles home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Up until last year, there was only one pure placekicker in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame: Jan Stenerud.
There are technically no designated hitters in the Hall unless you include Frank Thomas who spent 57 percent of his playing time as a DH. Edgar finished his career at 68 percent.
The DH and the PK are hired guns. They get called on to do one thing -- connect. In the end, these two positions are connected in their struggle for voter respect.
Andersen was almost always on target. He holds numerous NFL records, but each year the vote came around, he was just out of range.
His emotional ride to the Hall lasted five years, finally ending in 2017 when at last, Canton came calling.
Edgar is still on that ride.
The Hall Of Famer who best mirrors Edgar's credentials is Thomas. He played 19 years in the majors, Edgar played 18. They each won a batting title and while Edgar had a better career batting average (.312 to .302) he fell short of Thomas in total hits (2,406 to 2,468), home runs (309 to 521) and RBI (1,261 to 1,704).
We can compare baseball stats until it's mind-numbing.
But in Edgar, we're talking about a player several Hall of Fame pitchers feared most. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera all said 'Gar was the one hitter they hated to face. Edgar had a lot of success facing Rivera, compiling a batting average of .579 against him, which included two homers and three doubles.
How do you explain it? Some guys just have another guy's number.
Unfortunately, we're still waiting for Cooperstown to find Edgar's.