On Sunday, July 21, the exaltation ceremony of the Class 2019 of the Major League Hall of Fame took place in the famous venue of Cooperstown, New York and among the four chosen are two Latin Americans: Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martínez, they join Mike Mussina, and the late Roy Halladay.
During the voting period held at the end of last year and made known in January, Panamanian reliever Mariano Rivera made history by becoming the first player to be unanimously elected for the 425 ballots that were presented to the Association of United States Baseball Writers.
“I do not understand why I always have to be the last. I have kept saying that for the last 20 years and the last 17 years of my career. I always said: ‘Why do I have to be the last?’ But I suppose being the last one was special, “Rivera joked during the beginning of his exaltation acceptance speech.
For his part Edgar Martinez, who remained for ten years on the ballots and finally reached 75 percent of valid votes to be elected said he was inspired throughout his career by Puerto Rican gardener Roberto Clemente, who is also a member of the Salon of Fame.
MLB: Hall of Fame
“It’s hard to believe that a dream that started when I was about 10 years old would take me on an incredible journey,” said Martinez.
“From the first time I saw Roberto Clemente on television, and some highlights of the World Series, I was hooked on the game of baseball. All he wanted to do was play the game.
Like most children in Puerto Rico, I wanted to be like Roberto Clemente. What a great example was Roberto Clemente for all of us in Puerto Rico, and what an honor to have my plaque in the Hall next to his. “
The popularity of the exalted ones in this 2019 caused that the record of attendance to the ceremony in the small town of Cooperstown to about two hours of distance of New York was broken. Since 2007, when Cal Ripken Junior and Tony Gwynn were exalted, an estimated attendance of 82 thousand people was not reported.
Last year, when Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris entered at the same time, it is estimated that 53,000 people attended, being the second highest attendance in history.
Source: Periodico Cubano