A crowd of 55,000 faithful baseball fans gathered on Sunday to see and hear the newest members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This was the second-largest ever recorded for the ceremony in Cooperstown. This record breaking crowd witnessed the enshrinement of some of the game’s greatest.
After pitching ten years for the Baltimore Orioles and eight for the New York Yankees, Mike Mussina gained admittance into the Hall of Fame. In his sixth year on the ballot, he received 76.9 percent of the vote, just above the 75 percent needed for enshrinement.
Mussina is a five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner. He posts a career ERA of 3.68. Mussina placed top five in Cy Young voting five times. He led the league in wins in 1995. With the Yankees, Mussina made it to two World Series.
On a day full of players speaking about heartfelt moments, the most touching one of all did not come from an inductee.
Rather, it came from Brandy Halladay, the widow of former Toronto and Philadelphia pitcher Roy Halladay.
Halladay was an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010). He received 85.4 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot. In 2010, Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history, and later that season in the playoffs he threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.
Welcome to baseball immortality, Roy Halladay. @BlueJays @Phillies #DocHOF #HOFWKND pic.twitter.com/hMTkS08ash
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) July 21, 2019
Baines never received the required 75 percent from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Instead, he was voted into the Hall by his own peers via the Today’s Game Era ballot.
Most known for his time with the Chicago White Sox, the right fielder had his No. 3 jersey retired by the team. Baines is a six-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award in 1989.
In his final year on the ballot, Martinez was successfully rewarded with enshrinement. He received 85.4 percent of the vote.
Martinez, a designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners, is a seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger. He won two AL batting titles and memorably hit a game-winning double in the playoffs of 1995 to send Seattle to its first ALCS appearance.
At 61 years old, Smith was the oldest member inducted Sunday. Similarly to Baines, he made it to the hall through the Today’s Game ballot.
Smith is one of the most dominant closers of all time. He was a Cy Young runner-up in 1991, and he led the NL in saves three times and the AL once. Also, he held the MLB record for career saves until 2006. He still holds the team saves record for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.
"The best pitch in baseball … the cut fastball." #UnaniMOus #HOFWKND pic.twitter.com/BPkZJ6l5w3
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 22, 2019
Just like in his playing career, Mariano Rivera capped off the day.
The “Sandman” served as the New York Yankees closer for 17 seasons. He is a 13-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion, and 1999 World Series MVP.
Rivera’s list of records and achievements is nearly endless. Most noteworthy, he holds the MLB record for most career saves with 652.
As a testament to his dominance, Rivera received 100 percent of the vote in his first appearance on the ballot.