In this column I want to take a look at the voters who have dropped Mike Mussina from their HOF ballot and those who have added him to their ballot. It’s a good time to take this reflection, because with 86 votes collected, more than one-fifth of the electorate has voted. I will keep this column updated as Mussina adds or drops voters.
Garry D. Howard removed Mike Mussina from his HOF ballot this year. He added votes for Edgar Martinez, Vlad, and Manny Ramirez. Howard works in a corporate role now and doesn’t write a column anymore, so there’s nothing to go on as to why he made his choices besides some comments on this Facebook post. I asked him why he dropped Mussina. He has not responded as of 12/22.
It appears that our friend Ryan Spaeder may have helped Howard to join #TeamEdgar. Perhaps a friendly tweet next year will remind him of his prior Mussina support?
It was very convincing, @theaceofspaeder …
— Garry D. Howard (@ACBJ_GarryD) December 7, 2017
Willie Smith, formerly of the Greenville News, may be a strategic voter. While we aren’t happy he dropped Mussina from his 2018 ballot, he added votes for Trevor Hoffman and Vlad Guerrero that should help both get elected this year. He may have dropped Mussina to add Omar Vizquel along with newcomers Chipper Jones and Jim Thome. While Smith posted his ballot to Twitter, he did not explain his choices.
Update 12/26: Mike Shalin had coal for Mike Mussina this Christmas (Mussina’s middle name is Cole so insert your own pun here). Shalin posted his ballot to Facebook on 12/25 and unlike in the prevous year, Mussina was not on it. In the comments on his FB post he states that he “needed more spots” to vote for Mussina. In addition to voting for the two near-unanimous candidates (Thome and Chipper), Shalin aslo voted for newcomer Omar Vizquel, along with adding votes for Curt Schilling and Manny Ramirez.
Alphabetically, Filip Bondy is the first “new” Mussina voter to examine. This year he also added Sammy Sosa while becoming one of only two voters to jump off the Edgar Martinez bandwagon. Bondy was one of the nine of voters to drop Mussina from his ballot last year (more on these nine in a moment). He first voted for him in 2016. It’s good to see him voting Mussina again, but we can’t help but scratch our heads at choosing Edgar over Sosa.
Like Bondy, Tom Deinhard did not articulate his HOF choices in a column. This makes it hard to explain his choice to add Moose, except that his voting behavior exactly duplicates Bondy. He added Mussina in 2016, dropped him in 2017, and now has added him again for 2018. He also added a vote for Sosa.
Bob Herzog is another voter who jumped back on the Mussina train. After dropping him last year, he added Sammy Sosa to his ballot, and voted for Mussina. It also helped that Lee Smith was no longer available for him to vote for.
Bernie Wilson is the fourth voter to add Mussina after dropping him from their 2017 ballot. He first voted for Mussina in 2016. He has an amusing back and forth on his Twitter account with fans about his lack of support for Vlad Guerrero. We hope it doesn’t come to that with Mussina.
The other five voters who dropped Mussina in 2016 are Tim Cowlishaw, Paul Daugherty, Joe Henderson, Kevin Kernan, and LaVelle Neal III. None of them have released their 2018 ballots yet.
Update 12/27: Cowlishaw’s ballot is out today. He did not add Mussina back on it, nor has he yet to address why he made the choices he did (such as adding Trevor Hoffman).
Patrick Graham of the Associated Press, added Mussina for the first time. On Twitter he indicated he’d vote for perhaps four more if given the chance.
Joe Haackenson added Mussina and joined the growing chorus of voters rallying to Larry Walker. Haackenson voted a full ballot and had plenty of room after having four of his picks last year (Pudge, Raines, Bagwell, and Smith) leave the ballot.
Janie McCauley, also of the AP, added Mussina for the first time. She did not write a column about her ballot or address it on social media. She also added Larry Walker, but mysteriously dropped Trevor Hoffman who missed election by only five votes last year.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz is a first time Mussina voter this cycle. Hi column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn’t mention Mussina except to say that he’s adding him to his ballot.
Rich Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times (and The Sports Writers on TV) has not publicly revealed his ballot in recent years. This year, his wrote a column on his selections, and said the following about Mr. Mussina
This is his fifth year on the ballot, and I’ve voted for him each year. He pitched for 18 seasons and had a 270-153 record. He pitched in nine AL Division Series, five AL Championship Series and two World Series. He won 20 games only once but had 15 or more victories 11 times. In.
Update 12/27: Dave Albee, who runs his own blog at The Daily Lowdown, and has been voting for the HOF for 20 years, added Mussina for the first time. In the piece linked in the previous sentence he mentions that the HOF letting in Jack Morris, meant that Mussina (and Curt Schilling) deserve to be in too since Moose, like Morris, was a borderline candidate in his mind.
Roger Mooney, of the Tampa Bay Times, also announed today that he added Mussina. He had not previously voted for Mussina.
Nick Pietruszkiewicz, also annouced on Twitter today that Mussina made his ballot. He had not previouvly voted for Mussina.