Baltimore Orioles: Mike Mussina and the Hall of Fame
By Frank Pickel
There is no greater personal achievement in Major League Baseball than being elected into the Hall of Fame. Tonight we will find out who will become a part of baseball immortality. The 2016 class will be announced tonight at 6:00 P.M. ET on the MLB Network and I am curious to see if Mike Mussina will be on that list.
Mussina spent 10 years with the Baltimore Orioles before he played the last 8 years of his MLB career with the New York Yankees. It is his third year on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot and each year support for him has grown. His first year on the ballot he received 20.3 percent of votes and in 2015 he received 24.6 percent.
Granted the last two years he was on the ballot his vote percentage was no where near the necessary 75 percent needed to enter the hall. The reason why Mussina’s support could drastically increase this year is due to the lack of depth in this first-year class.
Mussina should not have to wait any longer to become a hall of famer. When compared to other pitchers that have played for the Orioles it is clear that he has the numbers necessary to place a bust in Cooperstown.
Mussina vs Roberts, Wilhelm and Palmer
Mussina’s numbers are Hall worthy. To prove that lets take a look at Orioles Pitchers that are in Hall of Fame. You will notice that the numbers shared by Mussina, Robin Roberts, Hoyt Wilhelm and Jim Palmer are similar. Once you acknowledge that, what else do you need in order to give him the credit he deserves?
Robin Roberts is a Hall of Fame pitcher that played from 1948-1966 and played for the Orioles during the 1962-65 seasons. Here are his career stats:
Career record: 286-245
4.5 Strikeouts/9 innings
Hoyt Wilhelm, a Hall of Fame Pitcher who was a part of many MLB organizations from 1952-72, pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 1958-62. Here are his career stats:
Career record: 143-122
6.4 Strikeouts/9 innings
Easily the most recognizable Orioles Pitcher in the Hall of Fame, Jim Palmer played for the Baltimore Orioles his entire 19 year career that spanned from 1965-84. Here are his career stats:
Career record: 268-152
5.0 strikeouts/9 innings
Mike Mussina played for the Baltimore Orioles during the first half of his career (1991-2000) and ended with Yankees, due to free agency. Here are his career stats:
Career record: 270-153
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7.1 Strikeouts/9 innings
After looking at all of these numbers and players, Mussina’s recorded the second most career wins while playing the least amount of baseball. He also boasts the highest strikeout/9 innings average and WHIP.
In the other two categories that have been compared, ERA+ and ERA, Mussina holds averages that are very similar to Roberts, Wilhelm and Palmer.
I hope that Mussina makes a push at the Hall. Realistically and unfortunately, he may need to wait a few more years before gaining entry, but he shouldn’t have to. The numbers are there and he has never been accused of using PED’s, unlike his onetime teammate who is also on this ballot.