Mike Mussina: great Orioles talent, but HOF?

Mike Mussina, for so many in Baltimore, defines the dawn of a dark era.  The losing seasons had started three years prior, but his bolt north to New York crystallized the reality that the glory days had died.

Picture courtesy: 60ft6in.com

In theory it’s hard to blame Mussina.  He received an extra year and 16 million more from the Yankees (should be noted though, Mussina never enjoyed a World Series Championship in New York despite playing on the team with the highest payroll every one of his 8 seasons in the Bronx.  The homerous cynic in me cries KARMA!)

But when Moose exercised his free agency rights to leave, he trampled on the emotions of Orioles fans.  Going to the Yankees, whom we could still seriously call  our rivals in 200o, was a straight gut shot.  Baltimore hasn’t had anything resembling an ace since, nor a winning season.

11 and a half years later, the club announces Mussina as an Orioles Hall of Famer.

His numbers certainly bear that out. He posted an E.R.A. of 3.53 in his eight Baltimore seasons, finishing at least 6th in the Cy Young Award balloting 9 times. He outpitched Randy Johnson twice in the 1997 Division Series.

If the Hall of Fame is a reward solely for one’s level of play, there can be no debate on Mike Mussina’s inclusion in Baltimore. But if Hall of Fame includes impact on the community, the way a player treats fans, and whether or not he crushed the hopes of a fan base by leaving for an arch rival, then yes debate is warranted.

Again, it was Mussina’s right to leave, but it’s the Orioles right to include whom they want in their Hall of Fame. The club says yes, what say you Orioles fans?


One Response

  1. He was good from the time he came up until he left. Durable, hard working and consistent was he. The Orioles should have paid him for being just that. Ring of Honor, Yes indeed.

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