Tuesday, February 3, 2009
1992 Fleer, Mike Mussina
#20 Mike Mussina
Here's another card that I got through the mail in the early '90s. I got this when Mike still played for the O's. I've seen a couple of recent Mike Mussina autographs pop up recently at 30-Year Old Cardboard, OMGautos, and Taste Like Dirt Baseball. It's good to see that he continued signing through the mail throughout his career.
In the 15 or so years that separate my autograph from theirs, Mike's signature hasn't changed too much. His first name now looks like "Mile" instead of "Mihe" on my card. The "u" in his last name in mine has changed to an "i" in the recent ones. And on mine, he signs his "ina" with an underscore and a backwards "c". Today, he adds a few scribbles before he does the backward "c". But overall, he has a very nice signature that has stayed pretty consistent over the years, especially his "M".
I know Mussina retired recently. What I didn't realize was what a great season he had last year. Not only did he win 20 games, but that was the first time in his career that he had won 20. It took him 18 seasons to achieve the 20 win mark. Plus, he finished with a 3.37 ERA. Way to go out on top Mike!
I had the privilege to see Mike pitch three times, all as a Yankee. I saw him pitch once in Kansas City and once in Toronto. He won both games (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 K in Toronto in 2001). I also saw him pitch once in St. Petersburg where he gave up 6 runs (only 2 earned) and took the loss in 4.2 innings of work in 2006. You win some and you lose some.