Mike Mussina: 5 things to know about baseball’s new Hall of Famer

Credit: Chris Trotman

Credit: Chris Trotman

The Moose is finally loose in Cooperstown.

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Mike Mussina had a career record of 270-153 during his 18-year career. He only won 20 games once, and that came in 2008, his final season. Mussina was a five-time All-Star selection and placed in the top five in voting for the American League Cy Young Award six times, finishing as high as second place in 1999. The only time he did not win at least 11 games in a season was 1991, his rookie season.

Here are some things to know about Mussina.

Famous birthplace: Mussina was born Dec. 8, 1968, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the Little League World Series. In 1968 -- known as the Year of the Pitcher in the majors -- Osaka, Japan, defeated Richmond, Virginia, 1-0 in the title game. All three of Richmond's hits were collected by cleanup hitter Jim Pankovitz, who would play six years in the major leagues.

Former NFL quarterback Turk Schonert, who died Friday two days after his 62nd birthday, played infield for the Garden Grove, California, squad that reached the LLWS.

Golden Glove: Mussina was not only effective as a pitcher, he also was a nimble fielder. He won seven Gold Gloves during his career -- four with the Baltimore Orioles from 1996 to 1999, and three with the New York Yankees (2001, 2003 and 2008). That ties him for fifth all-time; fellow Hall of Famer Greg Maddux won the award a record 18 times.

Tough numbers: Since Nolan Ryan was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, only three starting pitchers with less than 300 career victories have been enshrined in Cooperstown -- Bert Blyleven (287 wins), Pedro Martinez (219) and John Smoltz (213), MLB.com reported. Mussina is now the fourth.

Great control: Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated wrote in 1994 that "What's most impressive is that from 60 feet, 6 inches, Mussina can dot the i in his autograph with any one of six pitches. He has three fastballs (a cutter, a sinker and a riser), two curveballs (a slow curve and the knuckle curve) and an astonishingly deceptive changeup that is his best pitch."

Great mind: Mussina's senior thesis at Stanford University was "The Economics of Signing out of High School as Opposed to College," Sports Illustrated reported. He wrote it in one night and received a B+. With the Orioles, he was the team's player representative during the 1990s.

"He buys books I'd never be interested in," catcher Chris Hoiles told Sports Illustrated. "If I went to a bookstore."

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