The lack of 20 win seasons on Mike Mussina’s resume is an often-cited black mark to keep him from the Hall of Fame. The Official Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Campaign Page finds this laughable. To begin with, the number 20 is arbitrary, and in no way showcase any more dominance than a player winning 18 or 19 games. (For further proof of this, refer to the 2001 AL Cy Young Post.)
But, for those baseball pundits who insist upon reliance of such numbers, we here at The Official Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Campaign Page offer the following evidence that the lack of 20 win seasons for Mussina is not his fault, simply fate (and a player’s strike)
1994: A Dream Shattered
Mike Mussina’s 1994 season might have been the best of his career. Through 24 starts, Mussina was 16-5, with an ERA of 3.06 that was 63%–and nearly two runs–better than the league average that season. He’d already spun three complete games, and with a strong Oriole lineup, he was in great shape to win 20 games.
However, a player’s strike ended the season on August 13th. With 50 games remaining on the Baltimore schedule, the strike likely cost Mussina 10 starts, possibly more. He was 9-2 in his final twelve starts prior to the stoppage. At that pace, it’s hard to imagine Mussina not picking up four wins in that span. In light of that evidence we at the The Official Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Campaign Page demand he be given credit for a 20 win season.
1995: The “Misremembered” Stirke
Few fans recall that the 1995 season was shortened 18 games by the same strike. This short-circuted another great Mussina season. With a 19-9 record, and an ERA of 3.27 45% better than the league average, Mussina was once again at the top of his game. His 19 wins and four shutouts led the league. But those 18 missed games cost the Oriole ace three starts. He had started of solid that year, going 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA his first three starts. But had he been given three additional starts in April, it’s likely he would have fallen into his groove sooner. Given that five of his final eight starts were complete games and his final two appearances were shutouts, we at The Official Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Campaign Page once again feel a 20 win season would have been inevitable if he had simply been given the oppurtunity.
Mike Mussina deserves those 20-win seasons. You know it. We at The Official Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Campaign Page know it. He knows it. Let’s make it happen