A pair of Yankees was elected into the Hall of Fame. Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina received word they were Hall of Famers on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019.
The last time two Yankees were elected to the Hall of Fame in the same year was 2017 when Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected. However, Raines played three seasons and 242 games in the Bronx and Rodriguez played only 33 games in the Bronx.
Mariano and Mussina played a collective 1,364 games for the New York Yankees and both were more widely recognized for their time in New York than Rodriguez and Raines.
Therefore, it was a very special moment for the New York Yankees franchise to induct two former players into the Hall of Fame in the same year.
This 2019 Hall of Fame election had a lot of story lines like Roy Halladay making the Hall shortly after his passing and in his first year of eligibility.
However, a very exciting and momentous headline was that Mariano Rivera, the closer for the Yankees for just about 19 years, became the first unanimous electee into the Hall of Fame.
Since 1936, no baseball player has ever been elected to the Hall of Fame unanimously, not even Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, or Hank Aaron.
Mariano Rivera is certainly deserving of that prestigious honor…and yes, less people have scored an earned run on Mo in the playoffs than have walked on the moon, but how about some other stats that the media has not yet beat to death?
For example, he leads all baseball players in three categories, saves (652), games finished (952), and ERA+ (205).
ERA+ is a stat that compares a players ERA to all others by adjusting for their ballpark. The second place player on the ERA+ leaderboard is clayton Kershaw at 159.
As for Mike Mussina, he played just less than half his career for the Yankees and had a very good career for both the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. Just looking at his New York stats, he led the league in ERA in 2001, his first year with the Yankees and pitched to a 20-8 record in 2008, his final season. In 2008, he received Cy Young and MVP votes. This speaks to the longevity of his career.
He also won three of his seven Gold Glove awards in New York.
An interesting story around Mussina is his decision to not wear a team logo in his plaque. Halladay will not have a logo on his hat either.
I am torn on this news. In regards to Halladay, I understand why he will not have a logo; he is not here unfortunately, to choose which logo should be on his cap. Mussina is.
It is a privilege to be in the Hall of Fame and he should represent a city in the Hall of Fame. It would not matter if he chose Baltimore or New York, but I think this is an odd decision to make and hopefully it does not become a recurring incident.
Reggie Jackson could have gone without a logo when he had to decide between oakland and New York (and Baltimore and California I guess).
Frankly, Jackson should have gone into the Hall of Fame as an Oakland A, but because of his turbulent relationship with the Oakland franchise, he decided to be enshrined as a Yankee. New York was the city he was nicknamed “Mr. October” and had his best batting average at .300 while winning two World Series titles. However, in Oakland, he won three World Series titles, a MVP in 1973, and hit his most HR (47), RBI (118), and OPS (1.018) in Oakland.
(His three career highs mentioned above came in 1969 when he somehow finished 5th int he MVP voting behind Harmon Killebrew despite a 9.2 WAR, good for the second best WAR that season.)
If Reggie made the all-important decision between two franchises, everyone should.
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