Saturday, August 17, 2013
It took Mike Mussina until his final season to reach 20 wins in a single year, but the right-hander piled up 270 wins in an 18 year borderline Hall of Fame career spent with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. It's not borderline for the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame though.
The man called Moose was inducted Saturday evening for the team that was his minor league home in 1991. (Plus a couple of games in 1990.) The then-24-year old went 10-4, 2.87 in 19 starts and earned an August call up to the Baltimore Orioles.
This past Wednesday marked the 22nd anniversary of Mussina's first Major League win, an eight inning, 10 strikeout affair against the Texas Rangers. (Mussina's debut was a loss to Chicago despite 7.2 innings of one run, four-hit ball.) He finished the year 4-5, with the same 2.87 ERA.
Mussina's career was one of perseverance. He was drafted in the 11th round by the O's out of Montoursville High School in PA. Three years later the O's took him again, this time as the 20th overall pick out of Stanford University. He threw nine games between Double-A Hagerstown and Triple-A Rochester in his introduction to professional baseball. A year later he excelled for the Red Wings and never looked back.