Mike Mussina finally made it official. After 18 outstanding years in the American League, pitching for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, Mussina has retired.
Moose ends his brilliant career with a record of 270-153 (.638); with a 3.68 ERA.
Mussina was an All-Star 5 times; won 7 Gold Glove Awards; never won a Cy Young Award; and, never was part of a World Championship team. But, he was one of the best pitchers of this era, winning 117 games over the .500 mark; with 57 complete games; including 23 career shutouts. And, Mussina had excellent control throughout his career, allowing only 785 base-on-balls in 536 games (1.46 per game).
Last year, Mike Mussina won 20 games (20-9) for the first time in his career. Moose won 19 games twice: (19-9), in 1995; and, (19-11), in 1996, both with the Orioles; He won 18 games, three times: (18-5), in 1992; (18-7), in 1999, with the Orioles; and, (18-10), with the Yankees in 2002; and, 17 games, two times, with the Yanks: (17-11), in 2001; and, (17-8), in 2003.
Mike Mussina has only “one” 20 win season in his great pitching career, but with a little luck, and maybe a few breaks along the way, Moose could have had “six”, or even, “eight” 20 win seasons. Mussina was very close in the 7 years that he had 17, 18, or 19 wins; and, if those seasons took a slighty different turn, there would be no doubt that Mussina would be voted into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame” on the first ballot.
The crowning achievement in Mussina’s career was his 20-9 season with the Yankees in 2008, which may well be enough to move the votes needed in favor of Mike Mussina being enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, at some point in the future.
Most Yankee fans, including myself; and, also, other baseball fans, would agree that Mike Mussina has earned a trip to Cooperstown. Hopefully, when the time comes, those who are privileged to have a vote for the selection of future Hall of Famers will also agree that Mike Mussina is worthy of being part of all the great players that already grace the walls of the hallowed “Hall of Fame” shrine and building.
View Mike Mussina’s career stats on “baseball-reference.com”. Click on:
Mike Mussina will be missed by all Yankee fans. We wish Mike and his family well, as we are confident that in retirement, Mike will be just as successful as he was during his great pitching career.
Thank you, Mike, for the great effort you always gave on the pitching mound; and, the many great memories and pitching performances that you delivered throughout the 8 years that you were a member of the New York Yankees. Enjoy your well-earned retirement, as we all look forward to the time when you return to the new Yankee Stadium in celebration of a “Special Day” in your honor. Also, it will be great to see you return for your first “Old Timer’s Day”; and, of course, listen to your “induction speech” the day your baseball path reaches it’s final destination as a member of Baseball’s “Hall of Fame”.
The day that Mike Mussina officially retired, my thoughts drifted back to some of the most memorable games Mussina pitched during this past season. Three games immediately came to mind, and I vividly recalled each game as I re-read the “Posts” that I had written, describing the events of these games, on my mlblog, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”.
The following are the “Posts” of the three games I referred to above. To view these Posts, just click on the URL from my archives, listed below each game:
* April 18, 2008 [Post] – Game # 17 – Red Sox 7, Yankees 5 – Mike Mussina (L, 1-3)
“Manny Blasts Mussina And Yankees, Again” …
An early season game against the Boston Red Sox in which Manny Ramirez hit two long homeruns off Mike Mussina, in a start that Mussina lasted only three innings. Mussina did not get off to a good start in 2008, as this loss lowered his record to (1-3) at the time.
* August 3, 2008 [Post] – Game # 110 – Yankees 8, Angels 2 – Mike Mussina (W, 14-7)
“Mussina Shines On Final Old Timer’s Day At Stadium”
Mike Mussina pitched a “gem”, the best game I think he pitched in 2008, in front of an overflowing “Old Timer’s Day” crowd at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees 8-2 victory was powered by four Yankee homeruns in a truly memorable game and day. Mussina earned his 14th win of the season in this game.
* September 28, 2008 [Post] – Game # 161 – Yanks 6, Red Sox 2 – Mussina (W, 20-9)
“Mussina’s Final Start Ends With 20th Win Of Season”
Mike Mussina finally got the win that gave him his first 20 win season, at age 39, in his final start of 2008, in what turned out to be Mussina’s final start of his career. The 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox was saved by Mariano Rivera.
Thank You, Mike Mussina !!!
Congratulations on having an “awesome” pitching career !!!
— Jimmy [27NYY], “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”