SARASOTA, Fla. - The choice was obvious. How Mike Mussina will be received at Camden Yards remains the mystery.
Mussina has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, setting up a reunion that was destined to happen in spite of his final eight pinstriped seasons.
Former second baseman Rich Dauer was chosen by the Veterans Committee. And longtime scout Walter Youse was chosen as the Herb Armstrong Award winner for non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball.
The ceremony will take place before the Aug. 25 game against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Mussina was joined on the selection committee’s ballot by first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, second baseman Robert Alomar and pitcher Scott Erickson. Mussina was the only candidate named on at least 60 percent of the ballots cast.
Mussina spent his first 10 major league seasons with the Orioles and compiled a 147-81 record and 3.53 ERA. He’s widely regarded as the second-best right-hander in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.
“Moose” ranks among the Orioles’ all-time leaders with 147 wins (third), 1,535 strikeouts (second), 288 starts (fifth), 2,009 2/3 innings (sixth), 15 shutouts (eighth) and 45 complete games (10th). He led the Orioles in ERA in eight seasons and in victories and innings pitched in six. He also won four of his seven Gold Gloves in Baltimore.
In addition, Mussina finished in the top six in Cy Young voting seven times with the Orioles and made five All-Star teams - though not in 1995, when he led the American League with 19 wins and four shutouts and finished fifth in Cy Young voting.
In the 1997 postseason, Mussina went 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts spanning 29 innings, walking seven batters and striking out 41.
His departure as a free agent, and his choice of the Yankees, brought an avalanche of resentment from fans who booed his every move whenever he came back to Camden Yards. Here’s a chance to both celebrate and bury the past.
Dauer, another of the franchise’s former first-round picks, spent all 10 of his major league seasons with the Orioles, retiring after playing 85 games in 1985. He was a career .257 hitter with a .987 fielding percentage at second base. He ranked first in fielding percentage in the AL in 1978 and 1981, and second in 1980.
In addition, Dauer holds the AL single-season fielding records for second basemen with 86 consecutive errorless games and 425 straight errorless chances in ‘78.
Dauer, currently the third base coach with the Colorado Rockies, played in the 1979 and 1983 World Series, going 5-for-17 with a home run in the ‘79 Fall Classic.
Youse, a Baltimore native and longtime baseball scout and amateur coach of the nationally known Leone’s, Johnny’s and Corrigan’s teams that produced such major league players as Hall of Famers Al Kaline and Reggie Jackson, died of congestive heart failure on April 15, 2002. He was 88.
Youse was the winningest amateur baseball coach in Maryland history. Jackson was the first African-American to play for him, joining the Leone’s roster in 1965 while enrolled at Arizona State.
Youse managed the Orioles’ Rookie League affiliate in Bluefield and later became the organization’s scouting supervisor in the east and mid-Atlantic areas.