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Moose Sightings

“It has been a crazy year. Sort of surreal as I look back. This entire experience has been nothing short of amazing. We weren’t really expecting this and somewhat surprised when they tallied the votes. We were only hoping to improve from last year’s marks. Then I got a random text from Dad. ‘76 percent.

“It has been a crazy year. Sort of surreal as I look back. This entire experience has been nothing short of amazing. We weren’t really expecting this and somewhat surprised when they tallied the votes. We were only hoping to improve from last year’s marks. Then I got a random text from Dad. ‘76 percent. Keep your mouth shut.’ And that’s what I did.”

Brycen Mussina was away at school when he heard the breaking news. The starting quarterback for the Shippensburg University Raiders was finishing up practice. He couldn’t share or celebrate because MLB didn’t make their official announcement. His father, Mike Mussina, managed to clear the 75 percent threshold of the Baseball Writers Association of America and was heading to the Hall of Fame.

“I drove around town and parked my car at the local market,” Brycen explained. “Yes. It was strange. But I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. I finally heard from Dad, and we shared a great moment. He made it. I was so proud and happy for him.”

Mike Mussina spent 18 solid seasons in the BIGS. The former Oriole and Yankee was phenomenal while on the mound. Moose was a true craftsman and a savvy perfectionist who tallied 270 victories over his stellar career. He was brilliant in perhaps the toughest division in all of baseball. Mike also pitched during the PED era, and a majority of his outings were in “homerun” hitter parks. He did things the right way. Never flashy. Just solid. Mike always gave his team a chance to win when he got the start. Mussina spent ten years in Baltimore and another eight in the Bronx.

Mike won 20 games in his final year. Despite his best season in the majors- Moose decided he had enough and left the game on his own terms. Many thought that he was a long shot at getting the nod. Sure he was an All-Star and had several Gold Gloves, but Mussina was considered a big name. Others questioned why he would call it quits after a tremendous year. Some thought he could easily reach 300 wins, and that would almost guarantee him the Hall. Moose thought otherwise and walked away in his prime. He came back to Montoursville to spend more time at home.

“He dropped us off at school every morning,” Brycen continued. “We love having him around. Obviously, he was a huge part of my successes in athletics. My dad retired when I was in the fourth grade, and he has helped, coached, and mentored me in every sport I played. He was very supported when I decided to focus more on football. I continue to pick his brain. I sometimes wish I could remember or see him pitch when he was in his prime. But having him home for the last eleven years has been a fair trade.”

Michael Cole Mussina was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 21st. Moose was joined by fellow Yankee closer Marino Rivera, Mariner slugger Edgar Martinez, and the late Roy Halladay who tragically died in a plane crash in 2018. Mike was very cordial in his speech and said this was a dream come true for a kid that grew up in rural Pennsylvania playing wiffleball. He thanked a number of people and praised several coaches and fans.

“The Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was a blast,” Brycen added. “I had never been to Cooperstown, and I was amazed. It was almost a family reunion of sorts as there were so many people there to support Dad. Hundreds from Montoursville made the trip. Many we haven’t seen in a long time. My dad was pretty steady the entire time. The entire family was, but you could tell the emotions were there. I don’t know if it has really sunk in yet. I mean we are walking the halls reading about the all-time greats, and now there’s a bronze bust of Mike Mussina, our dad.”

Congratulations to the entire Mussina family on this well-deserved honor. I don’t see much of Moose, and I only know him enough to say hello. I did run into him at a local gym a few weeks back and gave a thumbs up. He was very appreciative and asked if I was catching any fish. Special thanks to his oldest son Brycen, who helped with this week’s assignment. What a great kid and I look forward to following your season. Mike Mussina from Montoursville is in the MLB Hall of Fame. Impressive. Cheers.

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