Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate Mike Mussina 1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463

Tonight in our HoF ballot series we take a look at my favorite borderline candidate.
 
1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463 Mike Mussina

There are flaws in his resume, but for me Mike Mussina is a strong Hall of Fame candidate.  Notable career numbers include his 270 wins vs 153 Ls (117 above .500) and 2813 career Ks (19th all time). 

The Vote No on Mussina argument falls into 3 areas 1) No dominant season (no Cy Young Award), 2) His stats are largely Accumulators, 3) No Championships - an omission that is further exacerbated by the fact that he spent 8 seasons with the Yankees who bookended Mussina's tenure w/ World Series Wins on each end. 

However...
-He may have never won a Cy Young Award, but he did lead the league in Pitching WAR in 2001.
-Mussina's Black Ink scores are very soft but his Gray Ink Test is quite strong. While not pointing to a dominant season, this does tell us that Mussina was in the top 10 of pitching categories often.  I think the accumulators argument falls flat largely based off of the gray ink. 
-Finally in 2001 had the "Greatest Closer Ever" not blown a save, Mussina would have a World Series  Ring.

 1993 UD Inside the Numbers Subset - Peter Gammons


1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463 Mike Mussina (b-side)

Inside the Numbers is a 21 card subset in 1993 UD (#450 - #470) with each card featuring a short writeup by HoF baseball journalist Peter Gammons. Clear back in 1993 Gammons referred to Mussina as having Game Seven Make-up

The Phillies are represented by Dave Hollins, other players getting the Gammons treatment include Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Dave Justice, Bernie Williams, and Pudge Rodriguez.

More Moose

2004 Upper Deck USA USA-134 Mike Mussina 

Phungo Verdict: HoF - Full Disclosure, I met Mike Mussina in 2001. An acquaintance of mine is related to Mussina's wife. We didn't talk much but he was a real decent and polite guy. I am glad I met him and I was really happy to find out that he was good guy. So yes this may influence my opinion a bit, but I am happy to say that I think the numbers look HoF worthy on there own.

2014 HoF Candidates
Todd Jones
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)

Mike Timlin
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)
 .
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Sources
baseball-ref.com
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (2006 ed) 

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