COOPERSTOWN, NY (WJZ/AP) — Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday. Mussina was joined by relievers Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith and designated hitters Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines. Smith and Baines also have Orioles ties — Smith played for the Orioles in 1994 and Baines is a former Oriole, who grew up in Easton.
The late Roy Halladay was also inducted posthumously.
Mussina, a right-hander who starred in college for Stanford, pitched for 18 major league seasons and spent his entire career in the high-scoring AL East with the Orioles and Yankees. A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he posted a record of 270-153, pitching 3,362 2/3 innings with 2,813 strikeouts, 785 walks and an ERA of 3.68. He also had 57 complete games in 536 starts and was the first AL pitcher to win at least 10 games 17 times.
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Mussina thanked his wife and family, his mom, dad and brother Mark and the coaches who guided his career through the years.
Mike Mussina reflects on his time in Baltimore during his Hall of Fame speech.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 21, 2019
“I spent a lot of time reflecting on my time in baseball,” said Mussina, the oldest first-time 20-game winner in MLB history when he reached the milestone at age 39 in 2008, his final season in the majors. “I was never fortunate to win a Cy Young Award or be a World Series champion, win 300 games or strike out 3,000 hitters. My opportunities for those achievements are in the past. Today, I get to become a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This time I made it.”
The late Frank Robinson and Willie McCovey were honored with a moment of silence before Mussina was introduced. The two Hall of Famers died since last year’s induction ceremony.
Mussina is the 23rd player, coach or front office executive with modern-day ties to the Baltimore Orioles to be elected to the National Baseball HOF, according to the Orioles.
Ovations for Mussina were plentiful at Camden Yards during his ten years with the Orioles.
He was drafted out of Stanford University in the first round in 1990 and made his big league debut the following year.
Mussina quickly emerged as the ace of the staff, winning 18 games in 1992 and getting selected to the All-Star Team.
He was also a key part of the Orioles playoff teams and in 1997, Mussina was spectacular in the postseason.
He started four playoff games and gave up just four runs while striking out 41 batters.
Mussina showed his toughness the following year when he took this line drive off his head while pitching against Cleveland.
He left the field bloody but returned to the mound just five weeks later.
Unfortunately, Mussina’s time in Baltimore was running its course. As the team fell in the standings, Mussina was ready to hit free agency after the 2000 season.
He pitched his final game for the Birds on September 30- beating the Yankees.
He signed with them two months later, a move that upset many Orioles fans.
Mussina went on to pitch eight seasons in the Bronx. He won 270 games over his 18-year career.
A career that earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. Mussina will be inducted on July 21.
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