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Mussina sits on cusp of Hall of Fame election

Former O's star receives 63.5 percent of votes in fifth year on ballot
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Orioles great Mike Mussina is getting closer to the Hall of Fame, but he's not there yet. Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were unveiled on Wednesday night as the 2018 Hall of Fame class that will be enshrined this summer.

Mussina, needing 75 percent of the 422 ballots, finished at 63.5 percent in his fifth year of eligibility. The right-handed pitcher was a fringe candidate this year, with a long, consistently productive career.

BALTIMORE -- Orioles great Mike Mussina is getting closer to the Hall of Fame, but he's not there yet. Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were unveiled on Wednesday night as the 2018 Hall of Fame class that will be enshrined this summer.

Mussina, needing 75 percent of the 422 ballots, finished at 63.5 percent in his fifth year of eligibility. The right-handed pitcher was a fringe candidate this year, with a long, consistently productive career.

2018 Hall election results | Did You Know? | Coverage

Video: 2018 BBWAA Hall of Fame final voting results

He appeared on 51.8 percent of the ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 2017 -- an improvement over 43 percent in '16.

While his 63.5 percent was not enough for election, it's worth noting that just one player receiving 60 percent or more of the votes has not eventually made it into the Hall: Gil Hodges, whose total rose to 63.4 percent in 1983, his 15th and final year on the ballot. Mussina has already surpassed that number, a good harbinger of things to come.

Mussina pitched 18 seasons, all in the American League East, including the first 10 with the O's. Despite pitching in hitters' parks at Camden Yards, and then at Yankee Stadium, Mussina more than held his own.

Video: Mussina begins his incredible career with the Orioles

He compiled 270 wins, good enough for 33rd all-time. His 83.0 WAR mark is 19th all-time among pitchers in the Hall of Fame or currently on the ballot. He won at least 18 games six times, including 20 his last season, 2008, when at 39 he went 20-9 with an 3.37 ERA.

Mussina was remarkably consistent and durable. He had 11 top-10 finishes in AL ERA, and was in top five in Cy Young Award voting six times. A five-time All-Star, Mussina went 200 innings or more 11 times, and he was a seven-time Gold Glove Award winner.

He punched out at least 200 in four seasons, and owns a career 3.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The ultimate competitor, he also had just one losing season, during his rookie year in 1991, when he finished 4-5 in 11 starts.

The nominee list included several other players who spent time with the Orioles, including Guerrero and Thome, who each spent a year with Baltimore. Other nominees who spent time with the O's included Aubrey Huff -- who spent three seasons with Baltimore -- Kevin Millwood and Sammy Sosa.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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