NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time, Mike Mussina is on the Hall of Fame ballot.
The former starting pitcher retired in 2008.
The ex-Yankee is unlikely to be voted into Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, but he has a chance to be enshrined in upstate New York some day.
“I’d like to think I’d have a chance at some point,” the 44-year-old told the New York Daily News. “To think I would be first-ballot would probably be very optimistic, considering some of the other first-ballot guys who’ve just come on. To be on there and have people think about it is pretty neat. They paid attention. They realized we all had pretty good careers.”
The seven-time Gold Glove Award winner is among 19 newcomers on the ballot. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas could very well be elected on their first try. Returnees Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Curt Schilling also have a legitimate shot.
“When you reach a certain point and the numbers get good enough, you start wondering how you stack up against guys who played and are still playing,” Mussina said.
“Moose” pitched for the Orioles from 1991-2000 and then for the Bronx Bombers from 2001-2008. In 536 career starts, the Stanford alum went 270-153 with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts.
He was an All-Star in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1999. He never won a World Series.
Other newcomers on the ballot include Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Kent, Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez, among others.
“It’s a pretty impressive group of players,” Mussina said. “Obviously, it’s great to be in it.”
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