Baltimore Orioles: Mike Mussina moving up in HOF votes

Mike Mussina (35), pitches for the Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Mussina (35), pitches for the Baltimore Orioles. /

Two men who played for the Baltimore Orioles were elected into the BBWAA Hall of Fame, but Mike Mussina was not selected, again.

Mussina, the long-time Baltimore Orioles pitcher, edged slightly closer to entry in this, his fifth time on the ballot.

He never played with the two former Orioles who were elected into the Hall: Vladimir Guerrero and Jim Thome. But, he did pitch against them. The other two newly elected members of the hall, Chipper Jones and Trevor Hoffman, spent their entire careers in the NL.

Mussina’s first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot was in 2014. According to, more writers have voted for him each year. In 2014, he received 20.3%. In 2015, the number was 24.6%. His biggest jump was in 2016, when 43% of the writers penciled him in. In 2017, he had 51.8% of the vote. On this ballot, he received 63.5% of the votes.

Mussina, and all baseball players, need 75% of the votes to be added to the Hall of Fame. Mussina is close. Really close. And, it wouldn’t take much for him to get in in 2019. He earned enough votes to be back on the ballot in 2019 and Baseball Reference has a list of potentials who could join him for the first time. One of those is his New Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, who is almost certain to be elected on his first ballot. Former Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada could also appear on the 2019 ballot.

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The big question remains as to whether or not Mussina should be enshrined in the BBWAA Hall of Fame? When it comes to Orioles pitchers, he is one of the best. Jim Palmer holds the honor of being the best Orioles pitcher, but Mussina ranks near the top in several categories. Mussina ranks fifth in games started, seventh in innings pitched, and he and Palmer are tied with a 1.18 career WHIP.

Unfortunately, Mussina’s lack of awards is what could hold him back. He has never won the Cy Young, but in nine seasons he finished sixth or higher in the voting. Remember, he pitched at the same time as Pedro Martinez, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte.

All of Mussina’s five All-Star nods were when he pitched for the Orioles. He has 147 wins, the third most in Orioles history. Overall, he has 270 wins. This was at a time when 300 wins was a key stat for a pitcher to make it into the Hall. He did all of this during the peak of the PED era and he has never been associated with using them.

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What would help Mussina would be a concerted effort by fans to talk about him on social media. The media could also help by writing about him frequently. As a pitcher who only played in the AL East, he was not frequently seen by the West Coast media and NL media, so his distinguishing qualities are not well known by them.