Mike Mussina is one hell of a guy.
High school valedictorian and Stanford graduate with a wife and kids, he even runs his own charitable organization, the Mike Mussina Foundation.
He was also a great Major League Baseball pitcher, but you knew that part already.
But today is just not a good day for him.
Mussina, who may just make it to the Hall of Fame with 270 career wins and nearly 3,000 strikeouts, never won a World Series.
After the New York Yankees hoisted a trophy for the 27th time in their storied history, Mussina has joined Don Mattingly as the two unluckiest men to ever don the pinstripes.
See, after being signed to the Yankees during the 2000-01 offseason, Mussina was joining a seemingly unstoppable force. The Yankees had won four of the last five World Series and were looking like the favorites once again in the '01 season.
A Tony Clark double bouncing over a wall and a bloop single off the bat of Luis Gonzalez conspired against the Yankees winning a fourth straight ring, but no fear, the Yankees had money to spend.
Yet year after year went by without another Yankee championship.
Mussina was ever dominant, but the rings just didn't come. He won 20 games for the first time in his career during the '08 season and surprisingly decided to retire.
And then the Yankees won the World Series in 2009.
Of all the free agents to pass through the doors at the old Yankee Stadium from 2001-2008—Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, and so on—only one, yes, just one, was there exactly from '01 to '08.
No longer, no less, Mussina missed every one of the five World Series the Yankees have won in the last 15 years. Sure, he pitched in two, rather effectively at that, in both '01 and '03, but has no rings to show for it.
Word is that Mussina was happy and unregretful about his decision to retire last season, even after coming mighty close to winning his first Cy Young award, just one career achievement he's come so close to but never achieved.
Maybe he's cursed? Probably not.
But today, he might just be the unluckiest guy in the world.
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