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January 23, 2019

Edgar Martinez

Mike Mussina

Jack O'Connell

Mariano Rivera

Cooperstown, New York

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, and welcome to all of you here at the St. Regis hotel in New York City for the baseball Hall of Fame and Baseball Writers Association of America press conference to introduce the class of 2019 from the BBWAA ballot. I'd also like to welcome all of you watching on the MLB Network.

From your right to left on the dais, it is my pleasure to introduce Jack O'Connell, secretary/treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America; Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame electee, Mariano Rivera; 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame electee, Mike Mussina; 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame electee, Edgar Martinez; and the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Jeff Idelson.

Fellow 2019 Hall of Famer Roy Halladay will be honored posthumously in Cooperstown this summer. We welcome with us today, Brandy Halladay and their sons Braden and Ryan. Also here as part of our electee families today, we're very happy to have with us Edgar's wife Holly, their children Tessa and Jay, Edgar's brother Elliott, Holly's very close friend Christy. We have Mike's wife Jenna, Mariano's wife Clara. Thank you all for joining us.

We're also honored to have with us today another member of the baseball family. Representing the New York Yankees Brian Cashman, and from the Major League Baseball Players Association, Leonor Colon. Thank you all for being here.

At this time I'd like to turn it over to Jack O'Connell, secretary/treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America to say a few words. Jack?

JACK O'CONNELL: Thank you, and welcome, everyone. Allow me to get personal for a moment. This was my silver anniversary conducting BBWAA elections to the Hall of Fame, and I was able to celebrate my 25th election by informing a player that I covered from the first day of his Major League career to his last, Mariano Rivera, that he was named on every single ballot, something I never thought I would say, something I never thought I would see, and there is no more deserving individual of that distinction than Mo.

But it is important to note that the magic number remains 75 percent, a figure never attained by anyone who lived in the White House.

When you're in that conference room -- anyone. When you're in that conference room in the Ernst & Young building in Times Square with me and Mike DiLecce, who's here today, you realize the difficulty of that achievement. For every 40 ballots you have to be on 30; for every 80 you have to be on 60; for every 400 you have to be on 300.

That is the high bar that was cleared by one of the game's most distinguished hitters, Edgar Martinez, and two of the sport's most consistently effective pitchers, Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay. They passed the most difficult test. They made the grade that will get them through the gates at Cooperstown.

The baseball writers thank the cooperation of the Elias Sports Bureau in creating the player bios, and our friends from the Hall of Fame, Craig Muder and Jackie Brown, for their diligence in getting out the ballots. They mailed out 428 of them, and we had 425 returned, more than 99 percent, an indication of how seriously the writers take this responsibility.

Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jack, and at this time I'd like to invite Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson to give a few remarks.

JEFF IDELSON: Thanks, John, Jack. Nice words. On behalf of Jane, our board of directors and the entire staff at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, we're delighted you could join us. Jane and I would like to commend Jack and the baseball writers for the yeoman's work in evaluating candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame year in and year out, which we all know is not an easy task, and to echo Jack, a special thanks to Ernst & Young, our valuable partners since 1996, especially Mike DiLecce, who's been there for every step of the way. Thank you, Michael.

One of the most difficult career paths in the world is to the Majors Leagues. In the long history of professional baseball, 19,429 men thus far have been privileged to wear a Major League uniform, and of them, 1 percent, 1 out of 100 make it to Cooperstown, so that's really how special this honor is, and the men sitting on the dais who are elected to the Hall of Fame today and Roy are among those select few.

Hallmarks of the class of 2019 are its diversity, its dominating pitching and its pure hitting. When you consider the four players whom the writers elected yesterday and include Harold Baines and Lee Smith, Hall of Fame roster has now been bolstered with six bona fide superstars, including two starting pitchers who went deep into games, two closers who dominated, and two guys who were completely pure hitters who helped open games up.

The four players elected by the writers are richly deserving when you consider each one's body of work. Over 18 seasons with the Mariners, Edgar batted .312 with 309 home runs and 514 doubles, retiring as the all-time leader for his franchise in runs, doubles, walks, RBIs, extra-base hits and total bases.

We think about Mike, remarkably consistent. He won 15 or more games and also logged 200 or more innings 11 times, earning Cy Young award votes nine times, and he was among the top five American League pitchers in earned runs on seven other occasions, and he was 117 games over .500. Nearly two thirds of his 270 wins game in hitters' ballparks, Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards and Fenway Park.

Doc won 66 percent of his decisions, 20th best in history. He won a pair of Cy Youngs, power pitching workhorse who had five 200-strikeout seasons, logged 200 or more innings eight times, led his league in complete games seven times in his career, total of 67, are still the most in the majors since he debuted in 1998.

And Mo is Mo. When he was on the hill as we all know with his signature cutter in tow, it was lights out, game over. Ranks first all time in saves and games finished. 17 full seasons his ERA was under 2.00 11 times in his lifetime. His 2.21 ERA is the lowest in baseball over the last 90 years. You want to throw in postseason, 96 games, 42 saves, 0.70 ERA, five championship rings, and perhaps the last player ever to go into Cooperstown with the No. 42 on his back like the great Jackie Robinson.

So in summary, I think it's fair to say that this class dominated on both sides of the ball, and we're completely thrilled to have them in Cooperstown.

Guys, you're now teammates forever on the greatest team ever assembled, the Hall of Fame team, giving you all lifetime contracts. You can't go anywhere. Brian, I'm really sorry they're now off limits. But we're really thrilled to have you come to Cooperstown.

Without further ado, we'd like to ask you to stand up, take off your jackets, and put on the jersey of your new team, your final team, the Hall of Fame team.

THE MODERATOR: At this time we will ask the new members of the Hall of Fame here with us today so share an opening remark, and we will start with you, Edgar.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I'd like to express -- I want to say thank you. Thank you to the writers for giving me the support all these years, especially these years, this year. This is a great honor, the ultimate honor as a baseball player. We play the game so win every year, but at the end, after a lot of work, this is the highest honor. So thank you to all of you for giving me the support.

I wanted to congratulate Mike and Mo and Roy's family for this great honor, so congratulations. Thank you.


MIKE MUSSINA: I want to -- obviously we want to thank everyone. I'm just really surprised that I'm even here this year. It caught me off guard quite a bit. But everybody's support from the first year, and I want to say thank you to the 20 percent that voted for me the first year. That kept me on the ballot so I could work my way up slowly. So thank you to those guys, and thanks for everyone for supporting us. We all appreciate it, especially me and Edgar, guys that have been on the ballot for a few years, and it's a tremendous honor. It's long time since I sat in a press conference with all these cameras flashing in New York, but it's just as exciting as it was the first time I came, and I'm thrilled to be considered with the other great players in the game, with the guys I'm sitting with, and thanks to everyone, and congratulations to my teammate and my new teammate, and to the Halladay family. It's a great honor. Thank you.

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, I want to start by saying thank God for this great accomplishment. It wouldn't have been possible for me to achieve it without his help. To my wife, my family, baseball's writers, you guys are the best. It's just a privilege. I remember coming from a small fishing village called Puerto Caimito in Panama, and just me being here speaking about the Hall of Fame is something that my mind can't comprehend. But at the same time, I'm thankful to the Lord because he allowed me to make that happen.

You know, I mean, Edgar has to take me to dinner maybe tomorrow or one of these days; because of me his average was better, so therefore you owe me dinner, all right, and I mean, I'm so happy to see these men here, Edgar, Moose and Halladay's family, because those guys made me better. I remember speaking to -- I got in trouble, by the way. You guys owe me, too, another dinner, because I mean, 2008, Halladay and myself, we were talking in the outfield about pitching. We always talked about pitching. I was teaching him the grip of the cutter, and he did. Actually he was throwing the pitch, and Derek and all the hitters from my team were mad at me. As a matter of fact, I got fined by our kangaroo court because Halladay was so good against us, and they blamed me. I said, you guys didn't hit the ball, not me.

But it's amazing. It's amazing that I'm here talking about Hall of Fame, and again, thank God for that, and thank you very much for all of you to be here and allowing me to be one of the votes. Thanks.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you all for those remarks, and now we are ready to begin the Q & A portion. If you have a question, please raise your hand.

Q. Edgar and Mariano, Edgar, you have a .579 batting average --
MARIANO RIVERA: Why you have to say that? Say the average but don't say the number. Am I right? By the way, thank you.

Q. Edgar, why was it, I guess, easy to face Mariano?
MIKE MUSSINA: He said it was easy.

MARIANO RIVERA: Wait a minute, wait a minute, I have to say something. Was it that easy, Edgar?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: No, that was tough.

MIKE MUSSINA: He said it was easy.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: You know, facing Mariano always was a challenge. I might have some numbers, good numbers, but you know, when you come in late in the game to face Mariano, you know that it's going to be a challenge. You know, every at-bat, even if you get a hit, it doesn't feel like you're getting a hit. It's tough. He's one of the best in the history, and his consistency through the years is like the best ever. You never feel comfortable. I might have got lucky a few times, but never felt comfortable.

MARIANO RIVERA: You want me to answer that question? It was tough. I mean, that's one of the guys that -- especially in my young career, my first few years. I didn't want to see Edgar in a tough situation. As a matter of fact, I used to tell Joe, if you put the second base or bring in Paul O'Neill right behind second base, we might get him out because there was a hole that he was leaving in that place. It was amazing.

I mean, again, when you face a hitter, the type of hitter that Edgar was, you had to really, really bring your game because if not, he will have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner like he did me. But it was good. It was good.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I have to say something about -- there was one at-bat that I would change pretty much all those hits, just to get one hit in that at-bat, and I can remember the series, was it 2001?


EDGAR MARTINEZ: So the game is on the line. I'm the last out of the game. So Mariano always will throw the cutter, and I'm like, okay, he's going to throw a cutter, I'm going to look middle away, like I always did, and then Mariano, I don't know the first sinker I ever seen of Mariano my whole career, he threw a sinker in, and I just hit a weak fly ball so I think it was left field, game over, we're going home. So we went home.

I want to trade all those hits just for that at-bat.

Q. I know you all spent varying amount of times in the Minor Leagues, so what did that time in the Minor Leagues mean to you, and how did it help shape your career?
MIKE MUSSINA: My Minor League career was interesting, I would say. I was only there for a year. I started in Double-A in Hagerstown, Maryland. First bus trip I got my luggage run over by the bus, so that's how it started for me. First game I actually pitched, it rained so hard they couldn't get the tarp on the field, so I pitched two innings, and so it didn't really count, so I got two debuts in the minors, which doesn't happen all the time. You know, they just let me pitch, though, and they tried to teach me a few things, and I talked to some older players, and that's kind of how you do it when you're young. You just try to learn whatever you can and let some of the older guys help you, and that's all I tried to do, and I got lucky and got an opportunity at a young age, and when they gave me a chance, I did okay, and I got to stay in the Big Leagues, and that's pretty much how it happened.

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, for me it was a little different because I mean, coming from Panama, I didn't know no English. I remember being in Greensboro, North Carolina, my second year as a professional, and I used to go to bed -- a few days I was crying, not because the game. The game to me was easier than I expected.

But just the language factor. That was tough for me with the communication. I couldn't communicate with my manager, with my pitching coach. I mean, baseball language in the field, we all know that, even if you don't speak English or however language you speak. But when it comes to communication, if you don't speak that language, you're going to be in trouble, and that was me.

Minor Leagues shaped me in a way that after I learned the language, the game was a little bit easier for me than anything else.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think the Minor Leagues for me, it was like Mariano, the beginning was tough. I was close to my grandparents and my family, so leaving as a young kid to play in the States, it was difficult at the beginning. But also I think I learned a lot by coming to the States and playing the game that I love.

On the field, when I left Puerto Rico, I always, since a little kid, I had the ability to hit. I was a good hitter my whole -- since I was a little kid. In the Minor Leagues, the first year was tough. I didn't hit well. Double-A I didn't hit well. But Single-A and Triple-A, those were my best years in the Minor Leagues.

Now, the good thing about Minor Leagues is that you have the skills, you have the ability, but in Minor Leagues you have good coaches that teach you to play the game right and teach you all the fundamentals that maybe as a young player in Puerto Rico I didn't learn. Minor Leagues is very important. It was key for my success.

Q. Edgar, you hit .363 in Triple-A in Calgary, and they still sent you out, and then that year you hit .345. What did the Mariner people say to you about why they weren't giving you an opportunity until you turned 27?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think in those years, the Mariners, they had Jim Presley. He was a great third baseman. He was doing well for the organization. I was -- I came back to play in the Big Leagues, but at the beginning I wasn't as consistent as I needed to be to play every day. I think it was '88, I came down to the Minor Leagues. I think '89, too, so I was kind of up and down at the beginning. And I think it's just that I didn't -- wasn't consistent right at the beginning.

And when you're a young player trying to establish yourself in the Big Leagues, you have to be consistent. It's just a reality of the game.

So I think that's why I was sent down in '89 I believe it was. I wasn't consistent enough.

Q. Looking back on your career, is there one point that you realized that you could really be an effective closer in this game, and also, can you tell us what Mel Stottlemyre meant to you in your career?
MARIANO RIVERA: Thank you. Well, definitely when I had the opportunity to be a closer for the New York Yankees, I realized that I have a good shot to do that job. I didn't expect it to be that well. I was just happy to do it.

But I was blessed that I had one of the best pitching coaches, and that to me was Mel Stottlemyre. I remember after winning the World Series in '98, we went to instructional baseball to go and throw some pitches to minimize the amount of pitches that I was using for every outing. And to me, that was one of the best things that I did in my career because that helped me -- I think that that was one of the reasons why I was able to pitch for so long, because I was using less pitches, and that was -- that I can say was the help for my longevity in the game. But I have to attribute that to Mel because he was a person that always wanted me to be successful and wanted me to be the best, and he always tried to bring the best out of me. Definitely that was the person that made it happen. Thank you.

Q. Mike and Edgar, we touched a little bit on Edgar's battles with Mariano, with you, Mike. As you mentioned, he handled you pretty well, too. He obviously had a ton of weapons --
MIKE MUSSINA: That's why he's sitting up here, right?

Q. You had a ton of weapons to go after hitters with. What frustrated you about Edgar, and what made him such a tough out?
MIKE MUSSINA: Well, I think the guys for me and for Mo and for Doc and the guys that are willing to use the field from the left field line to the right field line who don't want to pull the ball all the time, who don't want to hit the ball off the fence all the time, the phrase is they take what we give them, and if I throw him down and away, he's going to hit a line drive to right field; if I try to throw him down and in, he hits a line drive to left field. And he had that ability. He saw the ball that well, and it didn't matter what I messed -- I could have a different order of pitches, I could have tried fastball first, breaking ball first, got ahead in the count, got behind in the count. It doesn't matter. When you're successful and as good a hitter as he was, then you just -- listen, I'm going to throw it in the middle and hope he hits it really hard right to somebody because if I try really hard and he still gets a hit, then it's just going to make me mad. So -- and honestly, sometimes you do that. I'd say, listen, I'm going to throw a sinker right down the middle, man, just hit it in the first two pitches and let's move on because you're going to get a hit anyway.

And that's the truth, and so I mean, I don't know what my numbers were against him. We all know what Mo's numbers were against him because we brought it up when we got here, and he only had one pitch. I mean, come on. He talks about minimizing his pitches. He had one pitch. Cutter in, cutter away, cutter in, cutter away. He threw his sinker his whole life, one time. But you don't do what he could do and frustrate us as starters and pitchers like he could if you weren't willing to just take our best stuff and put it wherever you wanted to put it and not trying to do too much with the ball, and that's how I survived for as long as I did. Guys tried to hit the ball off the fence too much, and I'd get a ground ball to short or fly ball to center, and that's how I survived, and Edgar didn't do that. He just took a line drive to right field. It worked for him, and it drove in a ton of runs, and like I said, frustrated me to death. That's why he's sitting up here. He did that to everybody.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Mike was the type of pitcher that he'd never give you the same look. He'd change sequence. He would elevate, change eye level, and that was difficult for a hitter. I just tried to not do too much, just like he said, and that was my style. But you know, like Mo, when it's a big at-bat or a big situation, that's when they can succeed. They made their pitches. Like Mo when he threw that sinker I wasn't looking for, Mussina would do the same thing. Sometimes it's 3-1, and you're thinking, okay, here is a fastball, and he will throw the cutter, and it looks like a fastball, and that's how he will get you out.

And again, because he made those adjustments, that's why he is here, too.

Q. You've obviously accomplished a lifetime's worth of stuff to get here. Do you have one favorite moment, accomplishment, memory on the field that sticks out to you as you sit here today?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think for me, the biggest game and at-bat, it was probably '95 in the Kingdome when we won. That year, the team, we didn't know if it was going to stay in Seattle or was going to move to Tampa. I think that that team that year was big for us, just to be able to win the series. That's probably one of the reasons why the team is there in Seattle still.

I think for me, that was the biggest moment probably in my career.

MARIANO RIVERA: Well, I mean, mine wasn't just on the field because there's a few of those, but I would say that my biggest moment just was wearing the uniform, wearing the pinstripes. I was telling Mike Mussina that that was my time, putting my jersey on the field, on the clubhouse day in and day out for all those years. That was a great moment because I always remember all those players that were before me, representing the organization with class and dignity. I just was blessed to be in that same ballpark and wearing the same uniform. That to me was just the moment of feeling great about the uniform.

MIKE MUSSINA: All right, I've got two, and they're pretty obvious ones, I think. I think the relief appearance in the postseason game in front of him that the now-manager hit a home run for us and won the game, that was -- I had never been asked to do that before. It's Game 7 of the ALCS and the place is packed, it's Yankee Stadium, and I have to jog from the bullpen to the game mound in the midst of the game, and I don't do that. I walk in before everybody is there. People haven't got in from work yet. That's when I go out and walk or jog to the mound from the dugout, not from the bullpen. To get in there and do that with my heart pounding in my chest and be effective and get a strikeout and a double play to get out of that inning and give us a chance and pitch a couple more innings and give us a chance, that was a big part.

And then obviously the very last day of my career in Fenway Park, we got rained out the day before. When I woke up, the ceiling and the clouds were probably 300 feet off the ground. It looked like it was going to rain again. We're supposed to play a split double header to end the season, and Girardi asked me which game I wanted to pitch, and I said, well, if we're going to play one, I gotta pitch that one, and I got to pitch -- I threw well and ended up winning my 20th game, the only time I won 20, on the last day of my career. Those two things really stick out for me anyway. Those are my two pretty memorable moments.

Q. Edgar, there's a small island in the Caribbean that right now is overjoyed, is extremely happy and very proud of one of their own. 1995 you talked about that dream team, that Caribbean series, played along Roberto Alomar, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Carlos Delgado, et cetera. If you could share some of those moments from that dream team in 1995.
EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think what I remember the most is just looking at the dugout and looking at all the players in that dugout that year and realizing that it's one-of-a-kind opportunities just to have a lineup with all those players that you mentioned. They all have great careers.

That was the best team for many years put together in Puerto Rico. Great moments, we had great series. I think we won seven games. We didn't lose any game.

I also remember looking at the stands and looking at the stadium packed every night. That was something that was fun to watch because at that time the league, it did show some signs that the fans -- not many fans were coming anymore.

But other than that, it was a lot of great moments in that series.

Q. For Mo and Edgar, I was just wondering, Mo, you started out as a shortstop. Did you think this pitching thing was going to work out for you? And Edgar, the same with the DH; did you think that was going to work out for you? And Mike, I was wondering your thoughts on almost pitching a perfect game.
MARIANO RIVERA: Well, I mean, for me, I just wanted to have the opportunity to be able to play the game that I love, and sure enough, I mean -- I played all positions before, but at the end, the good Lord had a position for me already picked, so I just had to follow it, and he allowed me to play and pitch well, although I hated to pitch before. I fell in love after that. But it was amazing. I mean, taking the opportunity to learn a new position and doing it and learning how to do it and being successful doing it, it was grateful. The game, it was more meaningful to me than before.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: The DH, I think at the beginning, I felt like this might not be something -- definitely I fought it. At the beginning I didn't want to be a DH. At the beginning, I thought, I don't want to be, let's say, put in the situation where if I don't have a good year, then my career could be short, could end. And that was a little bit concerning to me.

But at the same time, I looked at the reasons why I was given that choice. I was hurt, and I came from a few injuries. First were my knees, then my hamstrings, then the shoulder, and Lou told me, I just need you on the field. I need you to be in the lineup. And I couldn't fight against that. He was right, and I'm glad I did it. It worked out. I had a great year in '95, and from there, I ended up having a great career.

MIKE MUSSINA: I did a lot of almost things, I think, people would say. I had a couple almost no-hitter -- I had a couple shots at no-hitters, a perfect game. I won almost 20 a couple other seasons. I almost won the World Series. I almost didn't make it to the Hall of Fame. (Laughter).

But I did.

Yeah, that's my almost story. I can live with the other almosts because I get to sit up here now.

Q. Mariano, being the first unanimous electee, do you feel like that's given you a bigger platform to do what you want to do? Do you feel like this is a life-changing honor?
MARIANO RIVERA: Well, definitely, definitely. I would not call it a life-changing, but it's something special, yes, and I wanted to take the opportunity to -- my first year, 1995, there was a family, a man called Joe Fosina that brought me to New Rochelle, and I fell in love with the town of New Rochelle. It reminded me of my hometown in Panama, Puerto Caimito. I fell in love with the family. The family took me like one of their own, and we are still close today. Therefore, we have a church in New Rochelle, which my wife is my pastor.

And at the same time, I want to take this opportunity, and this is a blessing from the sky, from the Lord, that after I retire, my desire and my goal was to build a learning center in New Rochelle for the youngsters of the town of New Rochelle. And I think that this is the greatest accolade or event that has happened in my life because I want to take the opportunity to use this to build a learning center for the boys in New Rochelle. That's what to me I take the advantage and the opportunity that these blessings have given me.

I mean, I could not be more happier, and I would share with my family, my wife and friends, that it felt like when we won the championship in 2009 after being there for a few years and didn't win it. It was an amazing feeling, a great feeling knowing that you were voted 100 percent. It was -- I couldn't comprehend it. But at the same time, I was grateful for it, so thank you guys. Thank you very much.

Q. For all three of you, are you surprised at how much the way the game has played has changed since your retirement, the rise of relief pitchers, the lessening emphasis of starting pitchers, the huge increase in shifts, and is that good for the game do you think or good for the fans or good for the players?
MIKE MUSSINA: We don't have enough time to talk about that. I was a starting pitcher, so it's -- the game has changed. The game always evolves. It always has. I'm not sure I love the way it's changed lately, but that's just the nature of it.

Yeah, if you can't -- as a starter if you can't get deep in games, you lose opportunities to win games, and you won't pitch as many innings. There's a whole list of things that happen. As a starter, I'm not a huge fan of the way it's going, but I'm not the one making the decisions. I'm an old guy now who just played a bunch of years ago, and that's just my opinion of it. We could talk a long time about how the game is changing.

MARIANO RIVERA: Definitely there's a lot to talk about that, but I agree with Moose, and I agree with that. He's the man. He just said it all.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think from the offensive side, I think the shift, yeah, it hurts some players. You know, so much information today about both sides of the game, defensive and offensive, that that's why we've seen the shift. That's why we see pitchers pitching less. Whether it affects the game, I don't know. I don't have the answer. I think I like to see hitters making adjustments, and if they've been shift -- I like to see the hitter make an adjustment, even if it's with the strikes. They can be first pitch, be himself, but two strikes, just make an adjustment if pinch shift. But that's me.

It's always a lot of conversations about how the game is changing, but I don't know. I don't know if it's really affecting it or not.

Q. What would you say to those kids in Latin America and the Caribbean that will play barefoot and hit balls made out of tape?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think if the kids are playing, the game is so much fun, if they're playing the game, it's because they're watching and trying to imitate other players. They've just been dreaming about this game, one day to play the game, and I did the same thing. So I think just keep playing the game. Just keep playing the game, and one day they could be -- they could play in the Major Leagues, and maybe one day they're here.

MARIANO RIVERA: That's it. I mean, you just have to continue playing the game. Just love the game and play the game that you love.

I did it back home. I mean, I had no shoes, so we had to be playing barefoot. If you got cut, well, thank God it wasn't my shoes because that was the only shoes that you have. For that, just enjoy the game, and if we can be motivators or an example how to play the game and how to love the game and how to continue pushing forward and achieving the dreams, I mean, just do it because there's nothing better than that if you just can accomplish what you dream of. So I mean, I definitely will motivate them to continue playing the game that they love.

Q. We've heard about Mariano's interactions with Roy Halladay. Mike, you and Roy both kind of thinking man's pitchers. I was wondering if you ever interacted with him about pitching and your thoughts on him as a competitor, and Edgar, how did Roy's cutter stack up against Mariano's?
MIKE MUSSINA: I actually never really stood in the outfield and ever talked to Doc about pitching. He had, I just thought, tremendous stuff. I thought he had a very heavy ball, and when he learned how to sink it and cut it, it really changed how he pitched and how effective he was and what he could do. I mean, I'd bump into him once in a while in the weight room, and he's more than focused on what he's trying to get ready for the next turn or whatever was going on, and you know, I just never really had a chance to sit down and talk to him. But obviously he was there to pitch the whole game every time he took the ball, and it was his turn, and he was going to stand there as long as he possibly could and try to really stick it to you, and he did it a lot. It was impressive to watch him throw.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: For me when I faced him, what I remember is the movement of the ball. He could move it in two directions. He could sink really hard, would use both sides of the plate, and also would cut it, and he will throw a breaking ball, too. Pitchers that can do that is very difficult. And sometimes with his movement, all he had to do is throw it down the middle, and he gets a ground ball. So it always was challenging to face him, and he was one of those pitchers that you hope that maybe he gets out of the game early so you can face a reliever. But that was -- that's the kind of stuff he had, and you could tell that he was there competing. Always very difficult.

Q. Mike, I know you addressed this briefly yesterday; with a night to sleep on it, have you given any thought to which hat you'll have on your plaque?
MIKE MUSSINA: We made it all the way through this whole thing, and you gave him one last question. No. Obviously the situation is unique. I almost split my career down the middle with two organizations. I told you yesterday, I can't -- right now I couldn't sit here and choose one over the other. They're both instrumental to me sitting here. So I think we've got a little bit of time here to talk it over with the Hall of Fame and with the people there, and I think all of us put together will come to the right decision, whatever it is.

But as I sit here right now, no, I have not decided, and thank you for the question. And I did want to bring one more thing up. If he's buying dinner for somebody --


MIKE MUSSINA: Well, I don't know, but how many times did I set you up so you could sit up here? I think I'm really close to having a most -- he saved the most games for me. It's close. I think Pettitte might have passed us. I think you take me someplace. That's what I think.

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