SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez, who is running strongly in the early results for this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, landed a strong endorsement from the political world as well on Friday.Freshman U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington State, was joined by 35 members of Congress who
SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez, who is running strongly in the early results for this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, landed a strong endorsement from the political world as well on Friday.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington State, was joined by 35 members of Congress who introduced a resolution honoring the former Mariners star and current Mariners hitting coach for his outstanding career and humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.
The group of Representatives joining in the resolution included Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, a Republican from Martinez's native Puerto Rico, New York Democrat Nydia Velazquez and five other Democrats from Washington -- Adam Smith, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer.
"For all the ways that Edgar has given back to our Seattle community, as well as our global community, it is an honor to recognize him," Jayapal said. "He shows, in no uncertain terms, that commitment and compassion -- on and off the field -- can change lives for the better.
"From his fellowship program that benefits teachers and students to his funding of muscular dystrophy research, Edgar goes to bat for our community time and again."
Velazquez noted that Martinez's impact has far-reaching impact.
"Time and again, Edgar has shown up for his team and his community," Velazquez said. "Not only is he a beloved figure in the Pacific Northwest, but also a celebrated son of Puerto Rico. Edgar's character and service makes us all proud. It is my honor to join my colleagues today in recognizing his great career and contributions."
Martinez is polling well with Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame voters as well. According to the tally of ballots made public so far by Hall of Fame vote tracker Ryan Thibodaux, Martinez has been named on 86.4 percent of the first 88 known ballots, which puts him ahead of the required 75 percent to be elected.
Martinez was named on about 68 percent of the public ballots last year before finishing at 58.6 percent in the final results. Only about 21 percent of the expected 400-plus ballots have been revealed so far, with all votes due by Dec. 31. The Hall of Fame announcement will come on Jan. 24.
"As a member of our organization for more than 25 years, we know first hand that Edgar is both a Hall of Fame person and a Hall of Fame player," said Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather. "We thank Congresswoman Jayapal for sponsoring House Resolution 672 honoring Edgar Martinez for his excellence as a player, and for his substantial philanthropic efforts to make the Northwest a better community for all."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.