In his first year of eligibility in 2014, Mussina was named on 20.3 percent of the ballots with 14 players getting a higher percentage. On Tuesday, Mussina was named on 24.6 percent of the ballots with 13 players getting more votes. A player needs to be named on 75 percent to make the Hall.
If Mussina does someday make it - and I do think he has a good chance eventually - then we’ll find out if he goes in as an Oriole or a Yankee. He played 18 seasons in the majors, 10 as an Oriole.
Mussina went 147-81 with a 3.53 ERA as an Oriole. He actually posted better pitching stats with the Orioles than the Yankees, despite playing on five losing teams in Baltimore and six first-place clubs in New York. His ERA (3.53 to 3.88), win percentage (.645 to .631) and WHIP (1.18 to 1.21) were all better with Baltimore.
When a player is elected, the six-member Hall of Fame senior staff makes the decision on which cap a player wears on his plaque when inducted, not the player.
The Hall’s spokesman, Brad Horne, explained the process to me when Mussina was elected to the O’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
“For anyone that is elected, the decision of which logo appears on his Hall of Fame plaque is the decision of the museum and not the player,” Horne said. “Our role, as a historical institution, is to preserve the integrity of the team that is most representative from an individual’s career.
“If someone’s career is split between two or three franchises, numbers alone do not necessarily tell the story of where the greatest impact was made. The process is, once an individual is elected, and only at that time, does the Hall of Fame begin the process of which team is represented on the plaque. The individual is elected in January, but not inducted until July.
“The senior staff of the Hall makes that determination. The numbers are a big factor, but also intangibles come into play, as well things like awards and postseason. Sometimes, the process is resolved in a matter of hours. Sometimes it can take a couple of months before we are ready to announce the decision.”
If Mussina gets in the Hall, do you think he goes in as an Oriole?
Buck draws a crowd: The Orioles’ Single-A Delmarva affiliate announced that its 14th annual Hot Stove Banquet featuring O’s manager Buck Showalter is sold out. A record attendance is expected at the event which will be held at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center on Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 6-9 p.m.
Who might break out?: Will the Orioles have a breakout player in 2015 - that is one who takes his game to a level not seen before in his career?
In 2013, Chris Davis filled that role. He hit .286 with 53 homers, 138 RBIs and saw his OPS jump from .827 to 1.004. He was third in the MVP voting. While Davis had hit 33 homers the previous season, he went from slugger to MVP candidate with his huge season.
Last year, Steve Pearce was a breakout player. Entering the season as a guy that usually had to battle just to make a roster, he stepped up his game.
He began 2014 with a career .377 slugging percentage and .695 OPS, but then Pearce hit .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs, a slugging percentage of .556 and .930 OPS.
Do the Orioles have a breakout candidate for 2015?