This is part one in our 725 or so part series on the men and women tasked with electing baseball players to the Hall of Fame. Information in these posts may not be complete. What good information you will find in these posts would not be possible without the amazing work of Ryan Thibbs at www.bbhoftracker.com. Seriously, check out his site, he’s an amazing Hall of Fame researcher.
Current employer: The Boston Globe (2009 – present)
Previous employers: The Journal News (1999 – 2009), Norwich Bulletin
(1992 – unknown)
Other publications written for: Baseball America, Slam, Basketball Digest, Sports Illustrated, Sports Nippon, Metropolitan Golfer, Basketball Times and Backstreets
BBWAA Member since: 2001
HOF Voter since: 2011
Previous Ballots (click year for related column):
2011 – (5) Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, Raines, Trammell
2012 – (4) Bagwell, Larkin, Raines, Trammell
2013 – (8) Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Trammell
2014 – (10) Bagwell, Biggio, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Thomas
Notes – Abraham indicated in his 2014 column that he would have voted for Bonds and Trammell if the had been allowed to vote for more than 10 players.
Thoughts on Mussina:
From his 2014 HOF column…
Of all people, Johnny Damon makes the best case for Mussina.
Mussina, he points out, pitched from 1991-2008 in the AL East for the Orioles and Yankees. During that time, he was in a division that produced eight World Series champions and three other teams that reached the Series.
“Every year he faced the best teams, Damon said in 2008. “He was a No. 1 or a No. 2 starter in a great division his entire career.”
Mussina also pitched in two hitter-friendly parks in Camden Yards and old Yankee Stadium. Yet he was 270-153 with a 3.54 ERA and finished 19th in career strikeouts. Mussina is Glavine without all the trophies.
Mussina has a better ERA+ than Glavine, more strikeouts per nine innings, a lower WHIP and a better strikeout-to-walk ratio. He won only 35 fewer games than Glavine in 144 fewer starts.
Mussina did not win a World Series or a Cy Young. He won 20 games his final season. He was an All-Star only five times. But if you look at the factors a pitcher can control, Mussina passes the test. Like Raines, Mussina requires a voter to dig deeper. But it’s there when you look.
If you have any other interesting information about Mr. Abraham’s career, comments of his about the Hall of Fame (voting process, steroids, previous ballots, etc), or comments he’s made about Mike Mussina please share them in the comments below.