Mike Mussina broke in with the Baltimore Orioles in 1992. He pitched 12 games, going 4-5 with a 2.87 ERA. Over the next 17 years he averaged 16 victories per season, winning at least 11 each year.
A decorated pitcher, Mussina was a five-time all star and 7-time Gold Glover. Though he never won a Cy Young Award, he did received votes in balloting for the award 9 times. Mussina finished in the top 5 for the Cy six times.
The Stanford All-American won 147 games in his 10 seasons in Baltimore. In December of 2000 he signed a free-agent deal with the Yankees. In his eight seasons in New York, Moose went 123-72. In his final season he won 20 games for the first time in his age-39 season.
In the collection is a check made out to Mussina from the Fleer trading card company for the amount of $15,920 on July 27, 2001. With Topps paying less than $100 per season, it’s difficult to image what Mussina did to warrant such a payment.
On the date in which the check was issued, Mussina pitched eight innings, scattering four hits en route to his 11th victory of the season. It was his first year with the Yankees after ten seasons in Baltimore.