New Baseball Hall of Famer Refuses To Pick Between Yankees and Orioles for His Plaque


Once Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, he faced a difficult question.

With his career split between the Baltimore Orioles and New Yankees, Mussina was asked which team’s cap he wanted on his Cooperstown plaque.

Making that decision was just too much for Mussina, so he opted to not make a choice: He will be depicted wearing a cap without any logo.

“Both the Yankees and the Orioles were instrumental in my reaching Cooperstown,” Mussina said in a statement released by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I am proud to have played for these great organizations, in front of the tremendous fans in Baltimore and New York,” he said, “and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent them both in the Hall of Fame.”

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Mussina was drafted by the Orioles in both 1987 and 1990 before making his MLB debut in 1991. “Moose” spent 10 seasons in Baltimore and won 147 games there, posting a 3.53 ERA. All five of his All-Star Games came as an Oriole.

He then joined the Yankees as a free agent in 2001 and spent the last eight years of his career in New York. Mussina won 123 games and three Gold Glove awards and posted the only 20-win season of his career in New York. His ERA with the Yankees was 3.88.

Before making a decision to not make a decision, Mussina called his situation unique because of the time he spent with each organization.

“I almost split my career down the middle between the two organizations,” he said during a news conference Wednesday. “Right now, I couldn’t sit here and choose between one or the other. They were both instrumental to me sitting here. … We’ve got a little bit of time here to talk it over with the Hall of Fame and with the people there. I think we’ll come to the right decision, whatever it is.”

Mussina won’t be the only member of the 2019 class to be inducted without a logo; Roy Halladay will do the same.

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The late pitcher’s family wants him to represent all of baseball instead of just the two teams he played for, the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, so his plaque will feature neither team.

This isn’t the first time that a player will be depicted on his Hall of Fame plaque without a logo. Catfish Hunter and Greg Maddux are among those who also have gone the teamless route.

Maddux won Cy Youngs with both the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs and didn’t want to favor either team, so his plaque features his head turned to the side and neither logo on the cap.

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Hunter couldn’t decide between the Yankees and the Oakland A’s.

Besides Mussina and Halladay, the other four members of the 2019 class will have logos on their plaque’s caps.

Mariano Rivera will represent the Yankees, Harold Baines the Chicago White Sox, Edgar Martinez the Seattle Mariners and Lee Smith the Cubs.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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