Mike Mussina

Michael Cole Mussina (born December 8, 1968), nicknamed Moose, is an American former baseball starting pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles (1991–2000) and the New York Yankees (2001–2008). In 2019, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his sixth year of eligibility.

Mussina spent his entire career in the American League East, won at least 11 games in 17 consecutive seasons – an American League record – and recorded a career .638 winning percentage. Among pitchers, he ranks 33rd in all-time wins (270),[1] 33rd in games started (535), 66th in innings pitched (3,562.2), 19th in strikeouts (2,813), and 23rd all-time in pitching Wins Above Replacement (82.9). A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, Mussina's consistency resulted in six top-five finishes in the voting for his league's Cy Young Award.[2]

Mike Mussina
Mike Mussina, Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame ceremony
Mussina in August 2012
Pitcher
Born: December 8, 1968 (age 50)
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 4, 1991, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2008, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record270–153
Earned run average3.68
Strikeouts2,813
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Incoming Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2019
Vote76.7% (sixth ballot)

Early life

Mussina was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. At Montoursville Area High School in Montoursville, Pennsylvania he had a 24–4 win–loss record with a 0.87 earned run average (ERA) for the school's baseball team. In the summer, he played for the Montoursville American Legion Baseball team. [3]

He also excelled in football and basketball.

As a high school senior, Mussina just missed being the valedictorian of his graduating class. According to some reports, he intentionally came up short to avoid delivering a commencement speech.[4][5]

Mussina was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1987 but chose to attend college rather than sign.[6]

College career

Mussina enrolled at Stanford University, where he played college baseball for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team. In three years with the Cardinal, Mussina compiled a 31–16 record with a 3.89 ERA. He made two College World Series appearances and was selected as an All-American. His junior year in 1990 was his best, finishing 14–5 with a 0.99 ERA before being drafted again by the Baltimore Orioles, this time as a first round pick (20th overall).

Mussina graduated from Stanford in 1990 with a degree in economics. He is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

Professional career

Baltimore Orioles

Mussina made his professional debut with the Class AA Hagerstown Suns of the Eastern League in 1990. In the minor leagues, Mussina posted a 2.38 ERA in 189 innings.[7]

1992–1995

In 1992, Mussina's first full season with the Orioles, he finished with an 18–5 record and a 2.54 ERA in 241 innings. His .783 win-loss percentage led the league, and his 1.79 BB/9 was second best behind Chris Bosio. His 4 shutouts were tied for 2nd in the league behind only Boston's Roger Clemens. He finished 4th in the American League Cy Young Award voting, and pitched one perfect inning in the 1992 All-Star Game.

Mussina struggled in 1993 due to shoulder soreness, which placed him on the disabled list (DL) from July 22 to August 19. Nonetheless, he won 14 games while posting the 7th best winning percentage in the American League. Mussina also allowed 83 earned runs in only 167.2 innings of work for a 4.46 ERA while striking out 117 batters. He was voted onto the All-Star team, however he did not pitch in the game. There was a controversial incident toward the end of the game when Mussina chose to warm up in the bullpen, despite the fact AL manager Cito Gaston had told him that he would not enter the game.[8] Orioles fans believed Mussina was warming up in preparation to come in and pitch the ninth inning, and when Gaston put Duane Ward in to pitch the ninth inning, the fans at Camden Yards spent the rest of the game chanting "We Want Mike" and booing Gaston very loudly, as the popular slogan "Cito Sucks" was born in Baltimore. The slogan could be seen on T-shirts or heard even years later in Baltimore any time the visiting Blue Jays came to town. Gaston was never treated well by Baltimore fans for the rest of his managerial career and he was subject to death threats for not pitching Mussina in the game.[9] Many believe Mussina threw on his own as a way of publicly showing up Gaston because he was angry at not pitching in the game. However, Mussina said he was just getting his work in, as he was scheduled to throw that day, and it was apparent Gaston did require his services.[8] Mussina returned from the DL in August against the Texas Rangers, only to have the Orioles shut him down three weeks later in mid-September due to lower back pain.

Mussina returned to form in 1994, but a player's strike cut his season short, causing him to finish with only 16 wins and 99 strikeouts in 176.1 innings of work. Mussina finished tied for 2nd in the league in wins, and his 3.06 ERA placed him 4th. He was selected to his 3rd consecutive All-Star Game and pitched one inning, giving up one hit while striking out one batter. Mussina finished 4th in voting for that year's American League Cy Young Award.

In 1995, Mussina started and won Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995.[10] Mussina led the league with 19 wins and had one of his finest statistical seasons. He struck out 158 batters in 221.2 innings, allowing only 81 earned runs for an ERA of 3.29. Mussina led the league with four shutouts, and he also allowed a league-low 2.03 BB/9, while his 1.069 WHIP was 2nd only to Seattle's Randy Johnson. Despite his excellent season, Mussina was not elected to that year's All-Star Game, and finished 5th in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

1996–2000

In 1996, Mussina won 19 games and set a new career high of 243.1 innings. His league-leading 36 games started were also a career high. 18 of his starts that year were quality starts. In his last start of the season, the Orioles bullpen blew a late-inning lead, costing Mussina a 20-win season. Mussina also won his 1st Gold Glove that year.

Mussina did not start the Opening Day game in 1997 due to elbow tendonitis. He had been the Opening Day starter for the Orioles every year since 1993. Mussina finished the season with a 15–8 record, and his 3.20 ERA was 4th best in the league. In addition, his 218 strikeouts were a career high and established a franchise record. Mussina was again selected for the All-Star team but did not appear in the game. He finished 6th in the American League Cy Young Award voting and won his 2nd consecutive Gold Glove. In the 1997 American League Championship Series he pitched fifteen innings over two starts, allowing one run and four hits, and striking out twenty-five— an ALCS record at the time. However, the Orioles failed to score in both of his starts, and Mussina ended up receiving no-decisions for each.

Mussina's 1998 season was punctuated by two separate trips to the DL, including for injury resultant from when a ball hit by Sandy Alomar Jr. struck him on the face and fractured his nose. Mussina still won 13 games and post a 3.49 ERA, with 175 strikeouts in 206.1 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was good for 2nd in the league. Mussina won his 3rd consecutive Gold Glove with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage out of 50 total chances. On August 4, Mussina struck out Detroit's Bip Roberts for his 1000th career strikeout.

In 1999, he finished 2nd in the league with 18 wins, and his 3.50 ERA and .720 win-loss percentage were good for 3rd. Mussina struck out 172 batters in 203.2 innings while walking just 52, for a 3.31 K/BB ratio. He was selected as an All-Star and pitched one inning, Mussina finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting that year behind Pedro Martínez. He committed just one error out of 61 total chances and won his 4th consecutive Gold Glove, further cementing his reputation as one of the top defensive pitchers in baseball.

In 2000, Mussina recorded his first and only losing season going 11–15. However, he did not pitch as badly as his record suggests, as he allowed 100 earned runs in a league-leading 237.2 innings for a 3.79 ERA. He struck out 210 batters while allowing 44 walks. Opponents batted just .255 off him. He finished 6th in voting for the Cy Young Award that year.

New York Yankees

Following the 2000 season, Mussina decided to leave the Orioles via free agency.[11] He signed a six-year, $88.5 million contract with the New York Yankees on November 30, 2000.[12]

2001–2004

Mussina finished the 2001 season with a 17–11 record. He was 2nd in the league in ERA (3.15), strikeouts (214), shutouts (3), and strikeout/walk ratio (5.10), and 5th in strikeouts/9 IP (8.42) and complete games (4). Mussina pitched seven shutout innings in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series and the Yankees went on to win the game 1-0, and eventually the series, becoming the only team to win a division series after losing the first two games at home. Mussina started Games 1 and 5 of the 2001 World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, posting an 0–1 record with a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings pitched.

Mussinathrows2002
Mussina with Yankees in 2002

In 2002, Mussina was second in the AL in walks/9 IP (1.65), third in strikeouts (182) and strikeouts/9 IP (7.60), eighth in wins (18), and ninth in walks/9 IP (2.00). He held batters to a .198 batting average when the game was tied.

In 2003, Mussina was third in the league in strikeouts/9 IP (8.18) and strikeout/walk ratio (4.88), fourth in strikeouts (195) and walks/9 IP (1.68), fifth in wins (17), and eighth in ERA (3.40). He held batters to a .190 batting average when there were two outs and runners in scoring position. During Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Mussina authored one of the greatest clutch pitching performances of all time. With the Yankees trailing Boston 4–0 Mussina made the first relief appearance of his career. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Mussina struck out Jason Varitek before inducing Johnny Damon to hit into a double play. Mussina went on to pitch 2 more scoreless innings and kept the Yankees within striking distance in a game they later came back to win.

In 2004, plagued by a series of injuries, Mussina ended the year with a 12-9 record and a 4.59 ERA. He was fourth in the league in strikeouts (195), and eighth in walks/9 IP (2.19).

2005–2008

In 2005, Mussina finished with a 13–8 record and a 4.41 ERA. He was seventh in the AL in strikeouts/9 IP (7.11).

In 2006, he ended the season with a 15–7 record. He was second in the league in OBP against (.279), third in the American League in walks/9 IP (1.60; a career-best), batting average against (.241), and strikeout/walk ratio (4.91), fourth in ERA (3.51), sixth in win-loss percentage (.682). He fanned Cody Ross to reach the 2,500 strikeout mark on June 25.[13] Mussina also became the first pitcher in American League history to win 10 or more games for 15 consecutive seasons.

On November 20, 2006, Mussina and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement, pending a physical, on a two-year, $23 million contract.[14] Earlier in the off-season the Yankees declined the 1-year, $17 million option on Mussina's previous contract. Under that back-loaded six-year, $88.5 million contract, Mussina earned $19 million in each of the last two seasons.[15]

Mike Mussina on September 28, 2007
Mussina with Yankees in 2007

In 2007, Mussina became just the ninth player to win 100 games with two different teams—he had won 147 with Baltimore.[16] However, with the Yankees locked in a tight pennant race, Mussina struggled and temporarily lost his spot in the rotation to prospect Ian Kennedy. After just one relief appearance, (the first of his regular season career), Mussina returned as a starter, going 3–0 in his final four starts to end with 11-10 record and a career-high 5.15 ERA. The '07 season for Mussina and Mets' pitcher Tom Glavine was the subject of a 2008 book by John Feinstein, Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember, showcasing a pivotal season for two New York City pitchers as Mussina nailed down milestone career win #250 with the Yankees and Glavine earned win #300 with the cross-town Mets.

In 2008, Mussina started his 8th season with the Yankees as a much-needed veteran of an inexperienced rotation. The year began with difficulty reminiscent of 2007, and many noted a sharp decline in his pitch velocity. Owner Hank Steinbrenner suggested that Mussina should "learn how to pitch like Jamie Moyer", and no longer rely so much on his fastball.[17] Although that remark was widely interpreted as a slight, Mussina joked in response that he could not pitch like Moyer because he did not throw left-handed, and afterwards he excelled, going 9–1 in his subsequent eleven starts. On June 15, he recorded his 10th win of the season, extending his American League record to 17 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. On September 18, Mussina notched his 18th victory of the season and led the Yankees to a 9–2 victory over the first place White Sox in his final start at Yankee Stadium. On September 28, he won 20 games for the first time at the age of 39, with a 6–2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, becoming the oldest first-time 20 game winner in MLB history. He finished 20–9 with a 3.37 ERA. His 67.6% first-strike-percentage was the highest among major league starters. [18]

Mussina would later finish second to Cleveland Indians pitcher Cliff Lee in the voting for American League comeback player of the year honors. On November 6, he was awarded his seventh career Gold Glove Award, and the third in his career with the Yankees. He would later finish behind Lee again in the balloting for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award. Mussina's sixth-place finish was his best since 2001.[19]

Mussina officially announced his retirement on November 20, 2008.[20][21] Mussina is the first pitcher to retire following a 20-victory season since Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1966.[22]

Near-perfect games

Mussina pitched several near-perfect games throughout his career:

  • On July 17, 1992, he retired the first 12 Texas Rangers before surrendering a double to Kevin Reimer. Mussina retired the final 15 batters he faced for a one-hit 8–0 shutout.[23]
  • On May 30, 1997, he retired the first 25 Cleveland Indians before surrendering a single to Sandy Alomar Jr. with one out in the ninth. Mussina struck out the last two batters for a one-hit 3–0 shutout.[24]
  • On August 4, 1998, he retired the first 23 Detroit Tigers he faced before surrendering a double to Frank Catalanotto with two outs in the eighth. Mussina gave up another hit in the eventual two hit 4–0 shutout.[25]
  • On August 1, 2000, he tossed a one-hitter against the Minnesota Twins.[26]
  • On September 2, 2001, he retired the first 26 Boston Red Sox he faced; he then ran pinch-hitter Carl Everett (batting for Joe Oliver) to a 1-and-2 count before Everett blooped a single to left-center. Mussina then retired leadoff man Trot Nixon on a grounder, striking out 13 batters in a one-hit 1–0 shutout.[27] The losing pitcher was David Cone—the pitcher of the last perfect game at the time, on July 18, 1999. Although Mussina did not achieve perfection, James Buckley Jr. considered it special enough to include an appendix chapter about it in his 2002 book Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseball's Sixteen Perfect Games.

Other career achievements

  • Seven-time Gold Glove award winner.
  • Placed in the top five of voting for the Cy Young Award six times.
  • 1994 Baseball America First-Team American League All-Star starting pitcher.
  • 1999 Baseball America Second-Team American League All-Star starting pitcher.
  • Led AL in Won-Loss percentage (.783) in 1992
  • Led AL in Wins (19), Walks/9IP (2.03) and Shutouts (4) in 1995
  • Led AL in Games Started (36) in 1996
  • Led AL in Innings (237 ⅔) in 2000
  • Reached both the 2001 and 2003 World Series with the New York Yankees
  • Won 15 games in a season 11 times.
  • One 20-win season (2008), two 19-win seasons, three 18-win seasons, and two 17 win seasons.

Postseason performance

Mussina collected an overall 7–8 record and 3.40 ERA, with 142 strikeouts in 22 career postseason games. His finest postseason occurred in 1997 for the Baltimore Orioles when in 4 games he went 2–0 with a 1.24 ERA in 29 IP with 11 H, 4 ER, 7 BB and 41 K.[28] Notably, he twice outdueled Seattle Mariners ace Randy Johnson in head-to-head matchups during the ALDS.[29] A feature on The Washington Post's website ranked his performance the 6th-most memorable moment at Camden Yards.[30]

Pitching style

Early in his career, Mussina's arsenal included a four-seam fastball that topped out at 95 mph, a two-seam fastball, a slider, a changeup, and a plus knuckle-curve. He was always a finesse pitcher, and coming up through the Orioles' organization, he was often compared to Jim Palmer. He received praise for the ability to make in-game adjustments to compensate for days when he was not at his best.

Mussina's prolonged success was also the result of his ability to make adjustments. He added a splitter to his repertoire and replaced his knuckle-curve with a more conventional curveball.[31] He became more skilled at changing speeds with his breaking pitches and using different arm angles to confuse batters as well as to compensate for the diminishing speed of his fastball.

During spring training in 2006, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada noticed the unique grip Mussina used for his changeup and promptly hit a home run off it during an intra-squad game. Posada alerted Mussina to the tip-off, and he adjusted the grip. This new changeup was difficult for batters to recognize and was considered a main reason for his success that season.[32]

Mussina's remarkable results in 2008 were attributed to changes in pitching style. While in the past he was known for painting the outside corner of the plate with a mid-90s four-seam fastball, he began to work on both sides of the plate with his diminished upper-80s fastball. Additionally, when throwing the fastball, he often used the two-seam grip, which gives the ball late breaking motion. Despite his lower fastball velocity, Mussina maintained a significant differential in pitch speed by also lowering the velocity of his changeup. In addition to those more obvious changes, Craig Brown of The Hardball Times also attributed Mussina's renaissance to excellent control, noting that he was walking fewer batters than ever before and was becoming a ground-ball pitcher for the first time in his career.[33]

Throughout his career, Mussina also complemented his pure pitching ability by doing the little things well. He issued very few walks, held baserunners well, and fielded his position superbly.

Hall of Fame debate

Mike-mussina
Mussina in his final season in 2008

Mussina's candidacy for the Hall of Fame was the subject of debate.[34] "Do I compare to some guys who are in? I think I do", Mussina told USA Today in 2006. The only other pitchers to match Mussina's 17 seasons of 10 or more victories are Ted Lyons, Tom Glavine, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Walter Johnson, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Cy Young, Don Sutton, Tom Seaver, Tommy John and Steve Carlton; all are Hall of Famers, except Tommy John. Of the 23 eligible pitchers who have at least 265 wins and an ERA of 3.69 or less, 20 are in the Hall of Fame, although if Mussina was elected, his ERA would be third highest ahead of Bobby Wallace, who was a full-time pitcher for just two seasons, and Red Ruffing. Mussina's consistency is often overshadowed by the dominant peaks of contemporaries like Pedro Martínez and Randy Johnson. Mussina's ERA may have suffered from playing at a time when hitters dominated.

In 2014, Mussina received 20.3% of the vote on his first ballot (75% required for induction).[35] In 2015, he received 24.6% on his second ballot. He rose to 43.0% in 2016 on his third ballot. In his fourth year of eligibility, support for his candidacy continued to steadily increase, as he received 51.8% of the vote. In 2018, he received 63.5% of the vote, inching closer to the 75% mark. Mussina was inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame on August 25, 2012.[36]

On January 22, 2019, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, receiving 76.7% of the vote.[37]

Personal life

Mussina married Jana McKissick in 1997. The couple has two sons, Brycen and Peyton. He also adopted his step-daughter Kyra, who is Jana's from a previous marriage. He still resides in his hometown of Montoursville, where he is well known. He often helps out with the athletic programs at his high school and he operates a training camp for student athletes in the area.[38] He serves on the Little League International Board of Directors, based in nearby South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[39] Mussina is the head basketball coach for the boys' team at Montoursville Area High School. He accepted the position in June 2013.[40] When he received the phone call notifying him that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame, he had just completed a practice with his team.[37]

Mussina is of Slavic descent.[41] Due to his last name, which was Americanized by his ancestors, he is often misidentified as an Italian American; before the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players union, even asked him to play for Italy on that assumption.[42]

In December 2014, Mussina was announced as one of the six recipients of the 2015 Silver Anniversary Awards, presented annually by the NCAA to outstanding former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the end of their college sports careers. The award is based on both athletic and professional success.[43]

Mussina is also a crossword puzzle enthusiast and was featured in the 2006 documentary film Wordplay.[44][45]

He is also a collector of tractors and vintage cars.

See also

References

  1. ^ Hoch, Bryan (November 20, 2008). "Mussina announces his retirement Right-hander won 270 games, including 20 for first time in 2008". MLB.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ American Legion Baseball "Mike Mussina", American Legion Baseball
  4. ^ Smith, Chris, "Be Like Mike (Mussina)", New York Magazine, November 5, 2001
  5. ^ Barra, Allen, "Mike Mussina, Businesslike Baseball Great", Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2008
  6. ^ "Baseball Draft: 11th Round of the 1987 June Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
  7. ^ "Mike Mussina Minor League Record". Baseball-Reference.com.
  8. ^ a b Altman, Billy. "The All-Star Game: Should Everyone Get to Play?" Archived November 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Village Voice, July 17, 2002
  9. ^ Elliott, Bob. "Elliott on Baseball" Toronto Sun, September 5, 2004
  10. ^ "Box score: Baltimore Orioles 4, California Angels 2 (September 6, 1995)". Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  11. ^ "Absolutely no way – Mussina says he is resigned to free agency", CNNSI.com, July 26, 2000. Retrieved December 16, 2006
  12. ^ "Mussina, Yankees agree on six-year, $88.5M deal", ESPN, November 29, 2006
  13. ^ AP, "Mussina outpitches Willis, Damon drives in both Yanks' runs", ESPN.com, June 25, 2006
  14. ^ Feinsand, Mark, "Yankees bring back Mussina: Right-hander agrees to two-year, $23 million deal", MLB.com, November 20, 2006
  15. ^ "Salary Database: Mike Mussina". USA Today. October 24, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  16. ^ Kepner, Tyler, "The Yankees Rebound, but Damon Falls to the Side", The New York Times, July 6, 2006
  17. ^ Hoch, Bryan, "Hank sticking with Yanks' plan for Joba", MLB.com, April 21, 2008
  18. ^ 2008 plate discipline, FanGraphs Leaderboards
  19. ^ "Tribe's Lee earns AL Comeback honor | indians.com: News". Cleveland Indians. MLB. May 24, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  20. ^ "Mike Mussina announces his retirement". Newyork.yankees.mlb.com. November 20, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  21. ^ "Photo Gallery". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  22. ^ "Girardi: Yankees expecting Mussina to retire". Sportsline.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  23. ^ "Box score: Baltimore Orioles 8, Texas Rangers 0 (July 17, 1992)". Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  24. ^ "Box score: Baltimore Orioles 3, Cleveland Indians 0 (May 30, 1997)". Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  25. ^ "Box score: Baltimore Orioles 4, Detroit Tigers 0 (August 4, 1998)". Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  26. ^ 2001 Official Major League Baseball Fact Book. The Sporting News. St. Louis, Missouri. 2001. p. 167. 0-89204-646-5.
  27. ^ "Box score: New York Yankees 1, Boston Red Sox 0 (September 2, 2001)". Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  28. ^ "Playoff Dominance". Mussinahof.com. January 12, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  29. ^ Verducci, Tom (October 13, 1997). "Mike Mussina". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  30. ^ Sheinin, Dave. "Camden Yards' 10 most memorable moments". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  31. ^ Kepner, Tyler (August 18, 2003). "Baseball; Mussina Shuts Down Orioles With Surprise and His Splitter". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  32. ^ Verducci, Tom (April 25, 2006). "Wise guys". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
  33. ^ Brown, Craig (August 8, 2008). "The Mussina renaissance". The Hardball Times. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  34. ^ Antonen, Mel (July 27, 2006). "Worthy of Cooperstown?". USA Today. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  35. ^ "Mike Mussina garners low vote total in Hall of Fame voting". Major League Baseball.
  36. ^ "Orioles Induct Mike Mussina Into Their Hall Of Fame". baltimore.cbslocal.com. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  37. ^ a b Schoenfield, David (January 22, 2019). "Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina joining Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  38. ^ AP, "No Celebrity Status: Mussina just another face in his hometown ", October 26, 2001
  39. ^ "Little League International Board of Directors". Little League Baseball. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  40. ^ "Mike Mussina new Montoursville boys basketball coach". Williamsport Sun-Gazette. June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  41. ^ Kepner, Tyler (July 9, 2008). "Lots of Lip Fur at Yankee Stadium". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
  42. ^ Blum, Ron (March 2, 2006). "Will Baseball Tournament Be a Classic?". Associated Press. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
  43. ^ "NCAA honors six former athletes with Silver Anniversary Awards" (Press release). NCAA. December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  44. ^ Wordplay on IMDb
  45. ^ Wolf, Buck (June 15, 2005). "'Wordplay' De-nerds Crossword Craze". ABC News. Retrieved March 26, 2007.

External links

1992 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1992 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing third in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses.

Having played almost 40 years at Memorial Stadium, the 1992 campaign was the inaugural season for the Orioles' new ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where they play to this day.

1993 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1993 Baltimore Orioles season was the 93rd baseball season in Orioles history. It involved the Orioles finishing 3rd in the American League East with a record of 85 wins and 77 losses. They also hosted the 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 64th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1993, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9-3.

This is also the last Major League Baseball All-Star Game to date to be televised by CBS.

1997 American League Division Series

The 1997 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1997 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Monday, October 6, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

(1) Baltimore Orioles (Eastern Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Seattle Mariners (Western Division champion, 90–72): Orioles win series, 3–1.

(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 86–75) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card, 96–66): Indians win series, 3–2.The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was not tied to playing record but was predetermined—a highly unpopular arrangement which was discontinued after the conclusion of the 1997 playoffs. Also, the team with home field advantage was required to play the first two games on the road, with potentially the last three at home, in order to reduce travel. The Orioles played the Mariners, rather than the wild card Yankees, because the Orioles and Yankees are in the same division. Had the 1997 ALDS been played under the 1998-2011 arrangement, then Baltimore (1) would have faced off against Cleveland (3) and New York (4) would have faced off against Seattle (2). Under the format adopted in 2012 which removed the prohibition against teams from the same division meeting in the Division Series, the matchups instead would have been Baltimore-New York and Seattle-Cleveland, with the Orioles and Mariners having home field advantage.

The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Indians became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Florida Marlins in the 1997 World Series.

2001 Major League Baseball draft

The 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 5 and 6.

2001 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 2001 season was the 99th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 95-65 finishing 13.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe Torre. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. Roger Clemens had sixteen straight wins, tying an American League mark shared by Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Schoolboy Rowe, and Smoky Joe Wood. Clemens would finish the season with the AL Cy Young Award and become the first pitcher to win six Cy Young Awards.Another chapter was written in the story of the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry. On September 2, 2001, Mike Mussina came within one strike of a perfect game before surrendering a bloop single to Carl Everett. This was Mussina's third time he has taken a perfect game to or beyond the 8th inning. Coincidentally, it would have been the 3rd perfect game in for the Yankees in a span of 4 seasons and could have been the 4th perfect game in franchise history.

In the emotional times of September 2001 in New York City, following the September 11 attack on New York's World Trade Center, the Yankees defeated the Oakland A's three games to two in the ALDS, and then the Seattle Mariners, who had won 116 games, four games to one in the ALCS. By winning the pennant for a fourth straight year, the 1998–2001 Yankees joined the 1921–1924 New York Giants, and the Yankee teams of 1936–1939, 1949–1953, 1955–1958 and 1960–1964 as the only dynasties to reach at least four straight pennants. The Yankees had now won eleven consecutive postseason series over a four-year period. However, the Yankees lost the World Series in a dramatic 7 game series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, when Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically lost the lead – and the Series – in the bottom of the ninth inning of the final game. With the loss, this marked the second time in five years that a team lost the World Series after taking a lead into the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 (following the Cleveland Indians in 1997) and the first time since 1991 that the home team won all seven games of a World Series.Despite the loss in the series, Derek Jeter provided one bright spot. Despite a very poor series overall, batting under .200, he got the nickname, "Mr. November", for his walk-off home run in Game 4, though it began October 31, as the game ended in the first minutes of November 1. In calling the home run, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay said "See ya! See ya! See ya! A home run for Derek Jeter! He is Mr. November! Oh what a home run by Derek Jeter!" He said this after noticing a fan's sign that said "Mr. November".

Also, during the emotional times following the attacks, Yankee Stadium played host to a memorial service, just before the Yankees played their first home game following the attacks. The service was titled "Prayer for America".

2003 American League Championship Series

The 2003 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was played between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees from October 8 to 16, 2003. The Yankees won the series four games to three to advance to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the National League champion Florida Marlins.

2003 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 2003 season was the 101st season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 101-61 finishing 6 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe Torre. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the playoffs, they defeated the Red Sox in 7 games in the ALCS, winning the pennant on Aaron Boone's dramatic 11th-inning home run. The Yankees advanced to the World Series, losing in a dramatic 6 game series to the Florida Marlins. It would be their second World Series loss in three years and last appearance in a World Series until 2009.

2004 American League Championship Series

The 2004 American League Championship Series was the Major League Baseball playoff series to decide the American League champion for the 2004 season, and the right to play in the 2004 World Series. A rematch of the 2003 American League Championship Series, it was played between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, at Fenway Park and the original Yankee Stadium, from October 12 to 20, 2004. The Red Sox became the first (and so far only) team in MLB history to come back from a 3–0 deficit to win a seven-game series. The Red Sox, who had won the AL wild card, defeated the Anaheim Angels in the American League Division Series to reach the ALCS, while the Yankees, who had won the AL East with the best record in the AL, defeated the Minnesota Twins.

In Game 1, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina pitched a perfect game through six innings, while the Red Sox recovered from an eight-run deficit to close within one run before the Yankees eventually won. A home run by John Olerud helped the Yankees win Game 2. The Yankees gathered 22 hits in Game 3 on their way to an easy win. The Yankees led Game 4 by one run in the ninth inning, but a steal of second base by Red Sox base runner Dave Roberts and a single by Bill Mueller off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tied the game. A home run by David Ortiz then won it for the Red Sox in extra innings. Ortiz also won Game 5 with a single in the fourteenth inning. Curt Schilling pitched seven innings in Game 6 for the Red Sox, during which time his sock became soaked in blood due to an injury in his ankle. Game 7 featured the Red Sox paying back New York for their Game 3 blowout with a dominating performance on the road, anchored by Derek Lowe and bolstered by two Johnny Damon home runs, one a grand slam. David Ortiz was named the Most Valuable Player of the series.The Red Sox would go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, winning their first World Series championship in 86 years and ending the Curse of the Bambino.

2005 American League Division Series

The 2005 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2005 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 4, and ended on Monday, October 10, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) Chicago White Sox (Central Division champion, 99–63) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card, 95–67): White Sox win series, 3–0.

(2) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Western Division champion, 95–67) vs. (3) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champion, 95–67): Angels win series, 3–2.The higher seed (#1 is the highest) had the home field advantage.

NOTE: The Yankees were designated the Eastern Division champions due to winning the season series 10–9 against the Red Sox. The Angels received home field advantage rather than the Yankees due to their winning the season series 6–4 against New York.

2005 was the first year since 2001 that the Minnesota Twins had not participated in the ALDS. Other than the White Sox' victory in the AL Central, the participants were identical to those of the previous year.

The two victorious teams went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The victorious White Sox advanced to defeat the National League champion Houston Astros and win the 2005 World Series.

2019 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame for 2019 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players. The results were announced on January 22, 2019, with the BBWAA electing Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez and Mike Mussina to the Hall of Fame. Rivera and Halladay were elected in their first year of eligibility, while Martínez was elected in his last year of eligibility. Rivera became the first player to be unanimously elected, appearing on all 425 ballots; he broke Ken Griffey Jr.'s record of 99.32 percent (437 out of 440), set in 2016.The Today's Game Era Committee, one of four voting panels that since 2016 have taken over the role of the more broadly defined Veterans Committee, convened on December 9, 2018 to select from a ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport after 1987, with Harold Baines and Lee Smith elected by this body. The formal induction ceremony will be held at the Hall's facilities in Cooperstown, New York on July 21, 2019.

Knuckle curve

In Major League history, the term knuckle curve or knuckle curveball has been used to describe three entirely different pitches.

The first, more common pitch called the knuckle curve is really a standard curveball, thrown with one or more of the index or mean fingers bent. According to practitioners, this gives them a better grip on the ball and allows for tighter spin and greater movement. In all other respects, this knuckle curve is identical to the standard curveball. This version of the knuckle curve is currently used by Major League pitchers Phil Hughes and Brad Peacock. Mike Mussina was well known for his incorporation of the pitch into his repertoire. Justin Verlander formerly threw a knuckle curve but was forced to abandon the pitch due to problems with blisters. This knuckle curve is usually called the spike curve by MLB players and coaches because the pitch is nothing like a knuckleball.

The second type of knuckle curve is a breaking ball that is thrown with a grip similar to the knuckleball. Unlike a knuckleball, which spins very little, a knuckle curve spins like a normal curveball because the pitcher's index and middle fingers push the top of the ball into a downward curve at the moment of release. Since only two fingers produce the spin, however, a knuckle curve does not spin as fast as a curveball, meaning the break is less sharp, and less predictable. Because this knuckle curve can be thrown with the same general motion as a fastball, it is more deceptive than a normal curveball. This kind of knuckle curve is rare—it is easier to control than a standard knuckleball, but still difficult to master. The most famous practitioners of this type of knuckle curve are Burt 'Happy' Hooton, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, and former reliever Jason Isringhausen.

The third type of knuckle curve was thrown by Dave Stenhouse in the 1960s. Stenhouse's knuckle curve was thrown like a fastball but with a knuckleball grip. Stenhouse discovered that this pitch had excellent movement, and when he came to the majors, he utilized it as a breaking pitch. This pitch may have been the same as the knuckleball thrown by Jesse Haines and Freddie Fitzsimmons. The pitch would be perfected by Chicago White Sox legend Hoyt Wilhelm during the later stages of his career, after flirting with it for most of his time in the majors.

List of Baltimore Orioles Opening Day starting pitchers

The Baltimore Orioles are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland. They play in the American League East division. The Orioles started playing in Baltimore in 1954, after moving from St. Louis, where they were known as the St. Louis Browns. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Orioles have used 33 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 60 seasons since moving to Baltimore. The 33 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 22 wins, 18 losses and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.The first Opening Day for the Orioles was played in Detroit against the Detroit Tigers on April 13, 1954. Don Larsen was the Orioles' Opening Day starting pitcher that day, in a game the Orioles lost 3–0. Jim Palmer and Mike Mussina have made the most Opening Day starts for the Baltimore Orioles, with six apiece. Palmer has a record of five wins and one loss in his Opening Day starts, and Mussina has a record of three wins, two losses and one no decision. Dave McNally made five Opening Day starts for the Orioles, with a record of three wins and no losses. Other Oriole pitchers who have made multiple Opening Day starts are Steve Barber, Rodrigo López, and Jeremy Guthrie, with three apiece, and Milt Pappas, Dennis Martínez, Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, and Rick Sutcliffe, with two apiece. Flanagan's two Opening Day starts occurred eight years apart, in 1978 and 1986.Palmer has the most Opening Day wins for the Orioles, with five. McNally's record of three wins and no losses in Opening Day starts gave him a 1.000 winning percentage, the highest in Orioles history. Flanagan's record of no wins and two losses is the lowest winning percentage of any Orioles' Opening Day starting pitcher. Flanagan and Mussina are the only pitchers to have two losses for the Orioles in Opening Day starts.The Orioles have played in two home ballparks. Memorial Stadium was their home park until 1991, and Camden Yards has been their home park since 1992. Orioles' Opening Day starting pitchers had a record of eight wins, eight losses and eight no decisions in 24 Opening Day starts in Memorial Stadium. They have a record of ten wins, four losses and two no decisions in 15 Opening Day starts at Camden Yards. This makes their aggregate record in Opening Day starts at home 18 wins, 12 losses and 10 no decisions. Their record in Opening Day starts on the road is four wins, six losses and seven no decisions, for an aggregate Opening Day record of 22 wins, 18 losses and 16 no decisions. The Orioles played in the World Series in 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979 and 1983, winning in 1966, 1970 and 1983. Their Opening Day starting pitchers in those years were Steve Barber (1966), Dave McNally (1969, 1970 and 1971), Jim Palmer (1979) and Dennis Martínez (1983).

List of Baltimore Orioles team records

This is a list of team records for the Baltimore Orioles baseball franchise. Records include when the franchise was the Brewers and Browns.

List of Gold Glove Award winners at pitcher

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007 and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Greg Maddux has won the most Gold Glove Awards among all players, including pitchers, in Major League Baseball history. He won 18 awards, all in the National League; his streak of wins was consecutive from 1990 through 2002 until interrupted by Mike Hampton in 2003. Maddux won five more awards from 2004 to 2008, after which he retired. Jim Kaat is second and held the record for most wins (16) until he was displaced by Maddux in 2007. He won 14 awards in the American League and 2 in the National League; his 16 consecutive awards is a record among winners. Bob Gibson won nine Gold Gloves with the St. Louis Cardinals, and the inaugural winner Bobby Shantz won four awards in each league, for a total of eight. Mark Langston and Mike Mussina are tied for the fifth-highest total, with seven wins each. Five-time awardees include Ron Guidry, Phil Niekro, and Kenny Rogers; Jim Palmer won four times. Gold Glove winners at pitcher who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame include Gibson, Palmer, and Niekro.Maddux made the most putouts in a season (39) three times in his career (1990, 1991, and 1993). The American League leader is Frank Lary, who made 32 putouts for the Detroit Tigers in 1961. Kaat is the leader in assists; he made 72 with the Minnesota Twins in 1962. The National League leader, Maddux, trails him by one (71 assists in 1996). Many pitchers have posted errorless seasons and 1.000 fielding percentages in their winning seasons; Mussina is the leader with four perfect seasons in the field. Guidry (1982–1984) and Mussina (1996–1998) both accomplished the feat in three consecutive seasons. The most double plays turned by a winning pitcher is nine, accomplished by Maddux in 2006. Four pitchers have also thrown no wild pitches in a winning season: Maddux (1997, 2006), Kaat (1975), Shantz (1961, 1962), and Rogers (2005). In contrast, the most wild pitches in a winning season is 18, by the knuckleballing Niekro. The fewest balks in a winning season is zero, achieved many times, but Maddux accomplished the feat the most time in his wins (12 balk-free seasons in 18 years). The most balks in a winning season is five, by Mike Norris in 1981 and Orel Hershiser in 1988. Langston picked off the most runners from the pitcher's mound in a winning season, with 10 in 1993; four pitchers are tied for the National League lead with 5 pickoffs. Rogers posted both the highest (100% in 2002) and lowest (0% in 2005) caught stealing percentage in a winning season. Shantz' 1961 season tied Rogers' 0% mark for lowest percentage caught, and three pitchers are tied for the National League lead (67% caught).

Rawlings Gold Glove Award

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. It is also awarded to women fastpitch softball players in the National Pro Fastpitch as of 2016. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Additionally, a sabermetric component provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in Major League Baseball; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.

Tom Singer

Tom Singer (born 27 April 1969) was a British-born US baseball player. He spent seven years in minor league baseball and represented the United States national baseball team.

Singer was born in Banbury, England. He attended Monsignor McClancy High School and then St. John's University. With St. John's, he pitched against Mike Mussina and Stanford University in the 1988 College World Series regionals. In 1989, he played for Team USA in that year's Intercontinental Cup.He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. He threw a no-hitter on 5 May 1992, while pitching for the Dunedin Blue Jays against the Fort Myers Miracle. Overall, Singer was 39–45 with a 4.62 ERA in 161 professional games (116 starts).

Wordplay (film)

Wordplay is a 2006 documentary film directed by Patrick Creadon. It features Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, crossword constructor Merl Reagle, and many other noted crossword solvers and constructors. The second half of the movie is set at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), where the top solvers compete for a prize of $4000. Wordplay was the best reviewed documentary film of 2006, according to Rottentomatoes.com

The movie focuses on the following crossword solvers:

Ellen Ripstein: editor living in New York City and 2001 ACPT champion. She is also known for her baton twirling.

Trip Payne: professional puzzlemaker living in South Florida and three-time ACPT Champion. He held the record as the youngest champion after winning the tournament in 1993 at the age of 24.

Tyler Hinman: student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. At the 2005 ACPT, he challenged Trip Payne for the title of youngest champion ever.

Jon Delfin: pianist living in New York City and seven-time ACPT champion.

Al Sanders: project manager at Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins, Colorado. He is a frequent finalist at the ACPT.The movie contains appearances by many celebrity fans of the Times puzzle, including Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mike Mussina, Daniel Okrent, and the Indigo Girls.

A 2008 episode of The Simpsons, "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words", is based on the film. James L. Brooks got the inspiration for the episode after watching Wordplay. "We felt both Will and Merl were very compelling, off-the-beaten-track personalities [in Wordplay], who would fit into our universe very well," Brooks said. The episode was written by Tim Long, and directed by Nancy Kruse, and guest starred crossword puzzle creators Merl Reagle and Will Shortz as themselves.

Wordplay features a theme song, "Every Word," written and performed by Gary Louris of The Jayhawks. The Wordplay DVD features a music video of "Every Word."

Yankeeography

Yankeeography is a biography-style television program that chronicles the lives and careers of the players, coaches, and other notable personnel associated with the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. The series is aired on the YES Network and is produced by MLB Productions. The series is hosted by Yankees radio personality John Sterling. The series has earned five New York Sports Emmy Awards since its inception. In addition to airing on YES, MLB Productions has packaged many of the shows into DVD boxed sets.

After debuting as a weekly show with the 2002 launch of YES, Yankeeography only debuts new episodes periodically (as there are fewer prominent Yankees yet to be spotlighted). For instance, four episodes premiered in 2006: Tino Martinez, David Cone, the Yankees' 1996 World Series team, and Billy Martin. All Yankees with retired numbers have had shows completed with the exception of Bill Dickey. The show has been criticized for producing episodes on players who remain active while Hall of Famers from much earlier eras such as Jack Chesbro, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez were not profiled. Some profiles have been updated to reflect new developments.

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