Mussina, Dauer to enter Orioles Hall of Fame
Pitcher won 147 games, second baseman set fielding records
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina, who spent 10 of 18 pro seasons in Baltimore, has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, the team announced Wednesday morning. Former O's second baseman Rich Dauer will also be enshrined as a selection of the Veteran's Committee, and longtime Orioles scout Walter Youse will be inducted posthumously as this year's Herb Armstrong Award winner.
Mussina spent a decade playing for the Orioles after being drafted by Baltimore a second time as the 20th overall pick in 1990, out of Stanford University. A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner while with Baltimore, Mussina -- who played his final eight seasons with the Yankees -- had a record of 147-81 with a 3.53 ERA with Baltimore. He won at least 15 games six times, including back-to-back 19-win seasons in 1995-96, and recorded 1,535 of his 2,813 strikeouts, as well as 15 of 23 career shutouts while wearing the orange and black.
Asked if he considered himself a Yankee or an Oriole, Mussina, whose departure as a free agent to New York caused a mixture of outrage and sadness, said he thinks of his career as evenly split.
"To start in one place, and have one organization give you a chance to show what you think you can do, and go out there and let you do it for that long of a period of time," he said. "And then have to leave and go someplace else and have another organization treat you like you have been there your whole career, you have to give both sides a lot of credit. I can't say that I am one or the other. I have to say I am both.
"Does this [induction] change my opinion of it? This is a tremendous honor to be considered with the players that have played in Baltimore that have worn the Orioles' uniform, that have accomplished the things that have been accomplished there -- it's a tremendous honor. And to be put into the same sentence with Cal [Ripken] and [Jim] Palmer and guys of that caliber, it's a tremendous honor, and I am very thankful for it."
Mussina threw three one-hitters for the Orioles and struck out 15 batters in a game three times during his time with Baltimore. In the 1997 postseason, he went 2-0 in four starts with a 1.24 ERA, allowing one run on four hits in 15 innings over two American League Championship Series starts.
Mussina said Wednesday that his first 10 years in Baltimore were tough to replace in a sense, and reflected fondly of special memories of being on the hill for the final night game at Memorial stadium and Ripken's record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game on Sept. 6, 1995.
"There were just so many things that were exciting and memorable," Mussina said. "It's something I'll never forget, and the Orioles were the ones that gave me the chance to experience that. If people were upset that I made a change, they are allowed to be upset. People take this stuff really personally sometimes. But honestly, my first 10 years in the Major Leagues were great, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and enjoyed everything we were able to accomplish."
Dauer, now the third-base coach for the Colorado Rockies, holds two AL single-season fielding records for a second baseman, including 86 consecutive errorless games and 425 straight errorless chances, both of which he set in 1978. He played in two World Series for the Orioles -- the World Series championship squad in '83, and the AL pennant-winning '79 club, starting on the latter team. Dauer's induction puts him alongside a number of his former teammates who are Oriole Hall of Famers.
"I certainly didn't think I should be in it or anything like that," Dauer said. "When we first started, we were a family. I grew up with some of these guys in the Minor Leagues and we played for 10 years in the big leagues [together]. That just doesn't happen anymore. It's part of my family, part of where I am today, I am very fortunate that I carried on in baseball and I am real proud, obviously, to be considered in this class of Baltimore Orioles."
Dauer was also a first-round Draft pick, selected by Baltimore in the 1974 Draft, and he played his entire Major League career -- spanning 10 seasons -- for the Orioles. He retired a career .257 hitter with a .310 on-base percentage and .985 fielding percentage (.987 at second base).
"It might have been a long time, but I have kept up with the Orioles pretty much on a daily basis," Dauer said. "It is the organization that allowed me to play baseball, and I do believe because I played for the Orioles, it allowed me to continue my career. Everything I've done, the foundation was when I played for the Orioles. I hope I have become the kind of guy that they would have been proud of."
The late Walter Youse was also selected as the 18th recipient of the Herb Armstrong Award, given to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball. Youse, who passed away in 2002, was a longtime baseball scout and legendary amateur coach in Maryland.
Mussina, Dauer and Youse will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by the Oriole Advocates, founders of the Orioles Hall of Fame, on Aug. 24. Tickets for the luncheon are available by calling 410-247-2703. Tickets for the induction ceremony and the Orioles-Blue Jays game on Saturday, Aug. 25, are available at www.orioles.com.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.