My, how fast 18 years goes by. Mike "The Moose" Mussina is set to hang up his pinstripes and cleats. Let the great debate begin: HALL OF FAMER OR NOT?
He finally got a 20-win season under his belt and his seventh Gold Glove. He was a first-round pick of the Orioles in 1990 and will finish his career with a 270-153 record and 3.68 ERA. Mussina's 2,813 career strikeouts rank sixth among active pitchers and 19th all-time.
The debate begins now because of the "unofficial" acceptance to the Hall of Fame being 300 wins.
Here is a guy that did nothing for 18 years but go out and pitch when asked. There were very few times in his career when injury prevented him from taking the mound. He was never a distraction in the clubhouse, was a team leader, mentor to the pitchers and appears to be a good family man.
Then there is the fact that he had a good relationship with the sports media. Which, at times, holds the real key to election into the Hall of Fame. Just ask Jim Rice!
With the way pitchers are used today, we may never see too many more 300-win pitchers. Therefore, when looking at his entire career stats and championships, getting onto the ballot in five years will make voting quite interesting.
He should be in the New York Yankee Hall of Fame. Whether he makes it to Cooperstown or not is another story. Given the state of baseball today I would vote YES. But, then again, I don't have an official ballot to cast.