Mike Mussina Elected to Orioles Hall of Fame; Induction Should Be Celebrated

Jonathan Ty LangCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2012

Mike Mussina during his time in Baltimore
Mike Mussina during his time in BaltimoreHarry How/Getty Images

Former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina was elected to the Baltimore Orioles' Hall of Fame earlier this week.

Mussina, nicknamed Moose, was one of the top pitchers in baseball during his time with the Orioles.

He won 147 games in 10 seasons with the O's and was a major part of the playoff teams Baltimore had in the 90's. He won four Gold Gloves, made five All-Star Games and finished sixth or better in the Cy Young voting seven times during his time as an Oriole. 

Considering Mussina pitched in the heart of the steroid era, his accomplishments are even more impressive.

Following the 2000 season, Mussina was a free agent. He had just finished off an 11-15 campaign despite an ERA of 3.79 and was still just 31 years old.

The Orioles were trending downward at the time. Stars like Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson were aging while Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar departed in free agency. 

Meanwhile, the Yankees were the best franchise in sports, winning three of the previous four World Series. Apparently it was Mussina's fault for taking a six-year, $88.5 million deal in the offseason to play for a better team.

Moose was booed religiously every time he set foot in Baltimore over the next eight seasons. Even though he never won the World Series with the Yankees, he was still a fantastic pitcher and retired after winning 20 games following the 2008 season.

Mussina remains one of the greatest pitchers the Orioles have ever had and the last true ace to pitch in Baltimore. This is why he was elected to Baltimore's Hall of Fame even though he spent eight seasons with the hated Yankees.

It would be a disgrace if Mussina isn't met with anything other than cheers when he is officially inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame. To this day, Mussina cherishes his time in Baltimore and understands why many fans were bitter when he left. 

Even though it was painful to watch Moose suit up for the Yankees, O's fans need to remember how great he was for Baltimore and maybe blame Peter Angelos for not making a point to keep Mussina.

The Orioles were outbid and could of negotiated an extension with Mussina before he reached free agency.

Mussina was a great Oriole and then a great Yankee. He should be cheered because of the former, and not booed because of the latter.