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Mike Mussina Bio, Life, and Career:
Michael Cole Mussina was an American retired baseball starting pitcher who was born on December 8, 1968. He is known by his nickname “Moose” and played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles (1991–2000) and the New York Yankees (2001–2008). His career spanned from 1991 to 2008. In 2019, in his sixth and last year of eligibility, he was selected for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Mussina spent his entire career pitching in the Eastern Division of the American League. He set an American League record by winning at least 11 games in each of the 17 seasons in which he competed and finished with a winning percentage of.638 for his career. He ranks 33rd all-time among pitchers in terms of wins (270), 33rd in terms of games started (535), 66th in terms of innings pitched (3,562.2), 23rd in terms of strikeouts (2,813), and 23rd all-time in terms of pitching Wins Above Replacement (82.9).
Mussina is a seven-time winner of the Gold Glove and has been named an All-Star five times. As a result of his consistency, he has been in the top five of the voting for his league’s Cy Young Award six times. Williamsport, Pennsylvania is the city where Mussina was born. When he was a member of the baseball team at Montoursville Area High School, located in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, he had a record of 24 wins and 4 losses, and he had an earned run average (ERA) of 0.87.
During the warmer months, he participated in baseball with the Montoursville American Legion squad. He played baseball for his collegiate team, as well as for Jerseytown, Pennsylvania of the North Branch Baseball League of Pennsylvania (NBBL), during the summers while he was in high school.
Mussina also excelled in the sports of football and basketball. His achievements remain near the top of the all-time boys’ basketball career-scoring leaders at Montoursville High School, with over 1,000 points scored. Mussina graduated from Montoursville High School in 1995. Outstanding as a placekicker, he was extended an opportunity to play college football by Joe Paterno, head coach of the football team at Penn State University. However, he declined the invitation in order to concentrate on his career as a baseball player. In addition to that, Vanderbilt University extended an offer of a collegiate basketball scholarship for the Division 1 level.
Mussina almost missed out on the opportunity to be the valedictorian of his high school class when he was a senior. Reports have it that he deliberately fell short of the requirements in order to get out of having to give a commencement address.
Mussina was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1987 draft, but he opted to continue his education at Stanford University instead of signing with the team. Mussina attended Stanford University, where he was a member of the baseball club known as the Cardinal. He went on to play professional baseball. Mussina finished his tenure with the Cardinals with a record of 31–16 and an earned run average of 3.89.
He participated in the College World Series on two separate occasions and was named to the All-American team. His junior year, in 1990, was his greatest, as he finished 14–5 with a 3.50 ERA over 149 innings before being taken again by the Baltimore Orioles, this time as a first-round pick (20th overall). His best season came before he was selected by the Orioles.
In 1990, Mussina received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University. He belongs to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and is a member of the organization. In the year 1990, Mussina made his debut on the professional baseball scene with the Class AA Hagerstown Suns of the Eastern League. Mussina pitched 189 innings in the minor levels and had an earned run average of 2.38. In Mussina’s first full season with the Orioles in 1992, he pitched 241 innings and finished with a record of 18–5 with an earned run average of 2.54.
His win–loss percentage of.783 was the best in the league, while his walks per nine innings ratio of 1.79 was second best behind Chris Bosio. His four no-hitters placed him in a tie for second place in the league, one spot behind Roger Clemens of Boston. He had a perfect inning for the American League in the 1992 All-Star Game and finished fourth in the vote for the Cy Young Award in the American League.
Mussina was unable to pitch well in 1993 owing to shoulder pain, which resulted in him being placed on the injured list (DL) from July 22 to August 19. Despite this, he ended the season with a record of 14 wins and a winning percentage that was seventh-best in the American League. In only 167.2 innings of work, Mussina was responsible for 83 earned runs, which resulted in an earned run average of 4.46. He struck out 117 hitters. Even though he was selected for the All-Star team, he did not throw a single pitch in any of the games.
Mussina made a contentious decision toward the conclusion of the game when he elected to warm up in the bullpen, despite the fact that AL manager Cito Gaston had informed him that he would not enter the game. This decision resulted in a contentious and controversial event. The fans of the Orioles believed that Mike Mussina was warming up in preparation for him to come in and pitch the ninth inning.
However, 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. This is where the popular slogan “Cito Sucks” was born in Baltimore. Even many years later, when the Blue Jays arrived in town as visitors, residents of Baltimore may be heard chanting the slogan or seeing it printed on T-shirts. Gaston was treated poorly by Baltimore fans for the remainder of his managing career, and he received death threats because he did not pitch Mussina in the game.
This was all because Gaston did not pitch Mussina in the game. For his side, Mussina stated that he was simply getting his work in since he was due to throw that day, and it was clear that Gaston did want his services. Mussina said he was just getting his work in because he was supposed to throw it that day. After making his comeback from the disabled list against the Texas Rangers in August, the Orioles decided to shut Mussina down three weeks later in the middle of September due to lower back issues.
Mussina was back to his dominant self in 1994, but a player’s strike cut short his season, limiting him to just 16 wins and 99 strikeouts over 176.1 innings of work. Mussina finished the season tied for second in the league in wins, while his earned run average of 3.06 was good enough for fourth in the league. He was chosen to participate in the All-Star Game for the third year in a row and pitched one inning, during which he allowed one hit and struck out one hitter. In the vote for the American League Cy Young Award for that given year, Mussina finished in fourth place.
Mike Mussina Profile-
2131 Cemetery Rd
Montoursville, PA 17754-8154
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