Mussina, a right-hander who starred in college for Stanford, pitched for 18 major league seasons and spent his entire career in the high-scoring AL East with the Orioles and Yankees. A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he posted a record of 270-153, pitching 3,362 2/3 innings with 2,813 strikeouts, 785 walks and an ERA of 3.68. He also had 57 complete games in 536 starts and was the first AL pitcher to win at least 10 games 17 times.
Mussina thanked his wife and family, his mom, dad and brother Mark and the coaches who guided his career through the years.
The humble 50-year-old then spoke about how his largely underrated career had finally been recognized with baseball’s highest honor. “How did a kid in small town, rural Pennsylvania play enough wiffleball to make it to the major leagues and pitch there for 18 years?” Mussina said.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 21, 2019
“I spent a lot of time reflecting on my time in baseball,” said Mussina, the oldest first-time 20-game winner in MLB history when he reached the milestone at age 39 in 2008, his final season in the majors. “I was never fortunate to win a Cy Young Award or be a World Series champion, win 300 games or strike out 3,000 hitters. My opportunities for those achievements are in the past. Today, I get to become a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This time I made it.”
The late Frank Robinson and Willie McCovey were honored with a moment of silence before Mussina was introduced. The two Hall of Famers died since last year’s induction ceremony. The late Roy Halladay – who died in a plane crash in 2017 – was inducted by his widow Brandy on Sunday.
To read more about Halladay’s emotional speech click here.
A crowd of at least 70,000 fans came out in the sweltering heat to honor the class of 2019 in Cooperstown.
Former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” outside Clark Music Center in Cooperstown.
Williams played on four World Series championship teams for the Yankees and was a teammate of new inductees Mussina and Mariano Rivera. Williams is a jazz guitarist who was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for his 2009 album “Moving Forward.” He discovered his passion for music at an early age in his native Puerto Rico.
More than 50 Hall of Famers will be on the dais to honor the Class of 2019.
Mussina was the first to be honored, while Rivera, the first unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame, will speak last.
Several former Yankees teammates including Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte also in attendance to honor the righty and fellow inductee Mariano Rivera.
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) July 21, 2019
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)