As it has been rumored for a couple of days now, Mike Mussina has retired after winning 20 games for the Yankees this past season. He made it official at a 4pm news conference. Mussina is the first pitcher since Sandy Koufax in 1967 to retire after a 20 win season. The difference between Mussina and Koufax? Koufax retired for injury-related reasons; Moose retires on his own accord.
Moose had a phenomenal career. In 18 seasons, he compiled a record 270-153 and was one of the most reliable pitchers of his time. His .638 career winning percentage is 6th best all time among pitchers with at least 500 wins and only 3 other pitchers had more wins than Mussina in the 18 years he pitched. He is the only American League Pitcher EVER to have 10 wins every season for 17 straight years, and second all-time. Although he never won a Cy Young award, he finished top 5 in voting 6 times. He won a Gold Glove Award 7 times, most recently this past season.
Moose was the most reliable pitcher the Yankees had this past season, winning 20 games for the first time in his career. In my opinion, he was the Yanks MVP this past season. Now, the sports commentators can really get into whether he is a Hall of Famer or not. Jason over at Heartland Pinstripes, has a great post debating whether Moose belongs in the HOF. In my opinion, it would be a huge dissapointment if he wasn’t.
I’m sad to see him go. He was a great Yankee. I raise my beer to Mike Mussina.