Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mike Mussina, 1996 Topps Laser #125

If you haven't already noticed, I've updated yesterday's post to include the five missing MVOs. Reader HandyAndy was kind enough to leave a comment with the details, which he pulled from "Day by Day in Baltimore Orioles History" by Ted Patterson. You can find it on Google Books. Thanks again, Andy!
You may remember me saying that there were six MVOs that were missing. Well it appears as though the media did not select a Most Valuable Oriole in 1994 on account of the players' strike that led to the cancellation of the final fifty-odd games of the regular season, as well as the entire postseason. I guess that's just one more lousy effect of that work stoppage. I was also somewhat surprised to see that Mike Mussina, who was the team's ace for the better part of a decade, never won an MVO during his years in Baltimore. Well, I know an opportunity when I see one...

In my position as an Esteemed Blogger of the Baltimore Orioles, I hereby unilaterally declare Mike Mussina to be the Unofficial Most Valuable Oriole of the 1994 Major League Baseball season. Mike led the team in wins and winning percentage (16-5, .762), as well as earned run average (3.06), innings pitched (176.1), strikeouts (99), and walks and hits per inning pitched (1.16). If not for the work stoppage, he would have been very likely to post the first 20-win season of his career. Congratulations to Moose for his phony honor!

Honorable mentions go to: first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who hit .319 with a .392 on-base percentage, 32 doubles, 23 home runs, and 76 runs batted in during his first season in orange and black; shortstop Cal Ripken, who extended his consecutive games played streak to 2,009 while hitting .315 with 35 extra-base hits and 75 RBI; and closer Lee Smith, who saved a league-leading 33 games with a 3.29 ERA and struck out 9.9 batters per nine innings.

I'm sure public opinion will differ, especially with the deep-running emotions that still spring from Mussina's mid-career jump to New York, so I welcome your personal choices for 1994's phantom MVO in the comments. If you need a refresher, the team's stats are here.

6 comments:

Stacey said...

You have to love a baseball card that makes use of flames.

HandyAndy said...

Can't argue with the Moose...sure he wound up with the Yanks but no-one's perfect!!! I just can't bring myself to vote for Raffy.

BaltimoreSportsFan said...

I agree w/ Stacey, FLAMES RULE!

Kevin said...

Stacey and BaltimoreSportsFan - Not just flames...die-cut flames. OOOOO.

Andy - That's my point of view. I blame Angelos more than anyone for Moose leaving.

Fred said...

If it wasn't the Yanks, it would have been someone else...

Kevin said...

Fred - Also a good point. I'm sure the Mets or Phillies would've paid through the nose.