Mike Mussina Now On Path To “Hall of Fame”

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:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mussimi01.shtml

 

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.

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/04/manny_blasts_mussina_and_yanke.html

 

* 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.

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/08/mussina_shines_on_final_old_ti.html

 

* 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.

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/09/mussinas_final_start_ends_with.html

 

Thank You, Mike Mussina  !!!

Congratulations on having an “awesome” pitching career !!! 

 

— Jimmy [27NYY], “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”     

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10 comments

  1. bostonredsoxgirl46

    Hey Jimmy,
    thanks for the comment… if the Yanks, or anyone for that matter, was to sign Burnett I think that a four year deal should be the maximum, maybe with a fifth year option or something like that. And yeah just get rid of Pavano, I remember he was good when he played for the Marlins but he was just a waste of money for the Yankees, unfortunately.
    It’s too bad Mussina was never part of a World Series, I’m sure he would’ve been brilliant. That definitely won’t keep him out of the hall of fame though… look at Carl Yastrzemski (even though he’s not a pitcher) he was with the Sox his entire career and was never part of any world series team, but he was still put in the hall of fame. And I’m sure he would’ve had a couple more 20 win seasons… but I’m sure it was a matter of no decisions that prevented him.
    Hopefully someone like Sabbathia will be able to step up and get the job done.
    -Elizabeth
    redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  2. Jane Heller

    What will always stick with me about Moose, Jimmy, is the courage he showed last year. After his dreadful 2007 season (I admit it – I was one of those who bashed him), he made adjustments, learned how to pitch inside, changed arm angles, and not only came back from adversity but won 20 games. To me, he’s in the Hall.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  3. welikeroywelikeroy

    Great post. The 20 win season is a false statistical standard. Just because he only got it once (remarkable that he got it at that age) doesn’t mean nothing considering the achievements he has made throughout his career. The numbers you put up show CONSISTANCY of winning. No doubt, Mussina has been a winner throughout most his career. Never did he have that one standout year that would have gotten him the Cy, it is a shame because he was probably very close many times. Off Topic: That is another reason why that award is so special.
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Elizabeth …

    Yeah, A.J. Burnett should not be offered a “five” year deal by any team because of his injury history [it would be too much of a risk] … I would only offer A.J. a “three” [maybe, “four”] year deal — but, not five years !!! … And, the Yankees should not bring Carl Pavano back in 2009; and, “never” allow Pavano to wear a Yankees uniform again … Regarding Mike Mussina, I def believe his numbers are good enough to be voted into the Hall of Fame … Like I pointed out in my above Post, Mussina, in addition to his “one” 20 win season, won 19 games (2X); 18 games (3X); and, 17 games (2X) … So, with a few breaks throughout his career, Mussina could have had a few more 20 win seasons, which would have erased any doubt of Mussina being a Hall of Famer !!! … You’re right when you mentioned Carl Yastrzemski as an example of a great player who was voted into the Hall of Fame without being part of a World Championship team [which would also be the case with Mike Mussina] … Yaz did have some great outstanding individual achievements [18 time All-Star; Triple Crown in 1967; MVP in the 1970 All-Star Game; Three time AL Batting Champ; 452 HR’s; 1,844 RBI’s; in his 23 years with the Red Sox [stats from: baseball-reference.com] … But, I do think Mike Mussina’s 270 career wins; 117 games over .500; 23 shutouts; and, great control [low base-on-ball totals]; during his 18 years on the mound, as one of the best pitchers in this era — also, has earned Mussina a trip to Cooperstown !!! … Some “Hall of Fame” voters, though, may not vote for Mussina because he was never part of a World Championship team [that would not be fair, in my view] … A perfect example would be Don Mattingly not being voted into the Hall of Fame [yet] — I think he should be in Cooperstown !!! … Mattingly’s career stats are very similar to the stats of Hall of Famer, Kirby Puckett … But, Puckett has “two” World Series rings with the Minnesoa Twins, and that may be the only reason that Puckett is in the Hall of Fame and Mattingly is not !!! … Anyway, I think Mike Mussina will be voted into the Hall of Fame at some point in the future !!! … Take care, Elizabeth !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hi Jane,

    I agree … Like you said in your comments, “Mussina showed a lot of courage last year” !!! … With a couple more runs in a few of his starts, Mussina could have won “three” or “four” more games ??? … So, a record of: (24-5) -or- (23-6), could have been Mussina’s ticket to the Cy Young Award !!! … Also, it was disappointing that Mussina was not selected to the AL “All-Star” Team … It would have been great if Mike Mussina was the starting pitcher for the American League, at the final All-Star Game at the old Yankee Stadium !!! … Oh, Well … Next stop for Mike Mussina, “Cooperstown” !!! …… Take care, Jane !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jeremy …

    Yeah, Mussina’s numbers show [like you said], “Consistancy of winning” … And, also, Mussina’s 117 games over .500 is an awesome number that highlights the fact that Mussina was a great pitcher; one of the best in this era !!! … The great Mike Mussina “Hall of Fame” debate would be a lot clearer if Mussina had won 300 games; or, won a Cy Young or MVP Award; or was part of at least one World Championship team … But, even without those “special” awards, I still think Mike Mussina will be voted into the “Hall of Fame” !!! … Take care, Jeremy !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  7. bostonredsoxgirl46

    Jimmy,
    Thank you so much for all your positive feedback on my blog, it really means a lot! Congratulations on having your blog mentioned on the front page too! Have a great Thanksgiving!
    -Elizabeth
    redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  8. jimmy27nyy

    You’re very welcome, Elizabeth …

    You have such a great enthusiasm and passion for your team, the Boston Red Sox, that it shines through on all your posts on your blog … So, keep up the excellent work on your blog !!! … And, yeah, it’s always great to be featured on the mlb.com homepage … As of his morning, your blog is still featured on the front page, so that’s more great news for you !!! … Enjoy your “Thanksgiving Day”, Elizabeth !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  9. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, William [NMYF] …

    Mike Mussina has earned a trip to Cooperstown, and I do agree — he will be voted into the Hall of Fame at some point in the future !!! … It may take awhile, but whatever happens, Mussina had great career numbers; and, like you said, is, “absolutely a Hall of Famer” !!! … Take care, William; and, have a great Thanksgiving Day … Jimmy [27NYY]

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