Curt Schilling’s retirement announcement yesterday spawned a multitude of articles about his Hall of Fame case. Most of the articles believed that Curt belongs in the Hall, which caused me to start thinking about a similar pitcher who also retired this offseason: Mike Mussina.
Schilling was 216-146 in 20 seasons, with 83 CG, 20 SHO, 3261 IP, 3116 K’s, 711 BB’s, 3.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and a 127 ERA+. He never won a CY Young, but finished second on multiple occasions and made 6 all star teams. Of course, his calling card was his exceptional postseason pitching, going 11-2 in 133.1 IP while amassing a 2.23 ERA. The bloody sock game in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS provides a classic defining moment for voters to focus upon.
Mussina has similar numbers, although his value lies more in his consistency than pure dominance. He was 270-153 in 18 seasons, with 57 CG, 23 SHO, 3562.7 IP, 2813 K’s, 785 BB’s, 3.68 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and a 123 ERA+. He only has one second place Cy Young finish, but has 6 top 5′s, compared to 4 by Schilling, as well as 5 all star game appearances and 6 gold gloves. His postseason numbers are not great (7-9, 139.2 IP, 3.42 ERA), but they are far from pedestrian. His most memorable playoff performance was his dominant showing in relief of Roger Clemens in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Personally, I think Schilling deservedly gets in, with his very good but unspectacular stats getting a boost from his playoff dominance and role in ending the curse. Mussina, on the other hand, is right on the fence. His numbers are slightly less impressive than Schilling’s, although his greater win total may sway some less educated voters. I think Moose gets in eventually, towards the end of his time on the ballot, in a very close vote.
What do you think? Which one, if either, gets in? Do they deserve to get in?