Sunday, October 25, 2020

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Fans against Mussina’s Orioles Hall of Fame induction misguided with anger

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

The announcement of former pitcher Mike Mussina being elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame was predictably met with a variety of emotions on Wednesday.

Even Mussina’s biggest supporters in Baltimore have a difficult time overcoming the awkwardness involved with his departure for the hated New York Yankees and cannot forget the countless games he pitched against the Orioles over his eight seasons in the Bronx. There’s no overcoming the feeling that Mussina was supposed to be a “lifer” in the same sense of Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, and Jim Palmer after he was drafted and developed by the Orioles in a similar manner.

However, a vocal minority of fans have voiced displeasure in his inclusion, citing him becoming a traitor for joining the Orioles’ biggest rival at the time. Even a few personal friends whose opinions I respect in regards to baseball and the Orioles shared this sentiment, in fact.

My only reply was, “Seriously?”

I covered the topic in more depth and offered my history lesson of the circumstances surrounding Mussina’s exit during Thursday’s edition of The Morning Reaction, which you can find in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault:

Luke Jones offers his thoughts on fans opposed to Mike Mussina’s Orioles Hall of Fame induction

Though I would never go as far as saying anyone should lose sleep over the end result for Mussina — an $88 million contract and eight years of winning in New York obviously go a long way — nor would I take issue with fans’ decision to boo Mussina as a member of the Yankees, holding a grudge against the third-winningest pitcher in Orioles history is a simple case of misguided anger.

In researching his departure following the 2000 season, I found a quote made by the pitcher about the Orioles’ effort to keep him in Baltimore.

“Waiting as long as I did with nothing happening, it was just disappointing. If they really wanted me to come back, I think they would have done a little more.”

Reading that poignant comment nearly 12 years later, it’s the same general feeling shared by many who’ve witnessed the demise of a once-proud franchise and by others who have ultimately turned their backs at some point along the way.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mike Mussina was perhaps the best pitcher the Orioles have had since their move to Camden Yards. He deserves to be in the Orioles Hall of Fame and when eligible, Baseball’s Hall of Fame. You really can’t blame him for moving on to the Yankees, especially with the poor situation that developed with Baltimore Baseball. Had he remained in Baltimore, he no doubt would not have the statistics befitting that of a Hall of Famer. He did what was best for him and you can’t blame him for that.

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