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Mike Mussina has a Hall of Fame question he needs answered



COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – There was an almost almost every turn.

Good, just not great

He never won the World Series, despite reaching the final round of the postseason twice. He never won the Cy Young Award, though he finished in the top six six times.

Perhaps, Mussina said, he was waiting for the right moment to reach the top of the mountain

"Maybe I was saving up from all those near achievements for one last push, "the pitcher said Sunday, as he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame alongside former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez and late Roy Halladay at Clark Sports Center. "This time, I made it."

Mussina, 50, goes in with a blank hat, after playing 1

0 years for Orioles and eight for the Yankees. He was a five-time All-Star in Baltimore, but his biggest moments came in the Bronx. Seventeen of the 23 playoff games he appeared in, including three World Series starts, were with the Yankees, the team he never expected to play for

"For the longest time I was in Baltimore, I said myself that I ' d never played in New York. I'm a small-town guy and that place was just too much for me, "Mussina said. "Well obviously I changed my mind. Mostly because Joe Torre, he called me two or three days after they won the 2000 World Series over the Mets, and Joe simply said, "I just wanted you to know that we were interested in coming to New York to pitch for us.

The seven-time Gold Glove winner got the nod in his sixth year on the ballot, receiving 76.9 percent of the vote in January, just enough for enshrinement. He was admittedly surprised to get in – Mussina received just 20.3 percent of the votes in his first year on the ballot – and he could not help but poke fun at himself now that he is part of such an elite club

m standing up here with the best ever playing the game, "the dry-witted Mussina said. "Some are my former teammates, some are former opponents and some I grew up watching on television.

"First to the voters, an enormous thank you. Those who voted for me in my very first year, and kept me on the ballot, I thank you. Those who continue to reevaluate my career and finally feel I deserve this honor, I wholeheartedly thank you. "


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