Rookie Cards of Mike “The Moose” Mussina

Mike Mussina seemingly has always been overshadowed by an era of baseball dominated by the likes of Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Greg Maddux to name a few. But in our current Sabrmetrics Era, when you do the math, Mike Mussina ranks right up there with some of the greatest to ever play.

Pound for pound he’s in line with another great Baltimore Oriole Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer but his numbers also are comparable to John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. In a 10 year span (1992-2001) he was considered for the Cy Young Award 8 times! Eleven times he had seasons with 15+ wins and one 20 win season.

The numbers: 7x Gold Glove | 5x All-Star | 270 Wins / 153 Loses | 3.68 ERA | 2,813 Strikeouts | 3,562 Innings Pitched

The primary statistic of Mussina that captures the attention of baseball fans was his success as a pitcher in the PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) Era. What makes this fact even more incredible was he did it in the most offensively dominated league, the A.L. East. His key pitch was the knuckle curve and it brought him much success. Another factor for his success was his good health and longevity. Mussina pitched 10 years for the Orioles and 8 years with the New York Yankees.

Most Memorable Moments:

  • May 30, 1997 records 25 straight outs when Sandy Alomar Jr. breaks up his perfect game with a base hit.
  • October, 5 1997; ALDS Game 4 – strikes out 7 over 7 innings allowing just one run on two hits and three walks and the O’s advance. One week later…
  • October 11, 1997; ALCS Game 3 – he pitched seven innings allowing only one run, striking out 15 batters to set an ALCS record.
  • September 2, 2001; Mussina is one strike away from a perfect game and Carl Everett gets a bloop base hit to left center. (I watched this game and was sick afterwards).
  • 2003 ALCS Game 7, throws three scoreless innings of relief pitching. This was a spontaneous decision made by Manager Joe Torre and has been Mussina’s most gratifying moment of his career.

ROOKIE CARDS OF HALL OF FAMER MIKE MUSSINA


1991 Bowman, Card No. 97 (shop eBay)

 

The 1991 Bowman was similar in design to the 1990 set. However, this one is full of HOF RC’s: Jim Thome, Chipper Jones and Jeff Bagwell just to name a few. Clean card design and a great portrait photo of our featured HOF’er. Is it me or does that Wilson glove look huge? Card back is unique giving team by team breakdown.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $1.00-$2.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell between $10.00-$20.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $80.00-$100.00 range.


1991 Score, Card No. 383 (shop eBay)

 

The complete set of 1991 Score was a very large one, it showcased 893 cards and was split up into two series. This “1st Round Draft Pick” was a subset within the set and were featured on cards 380-391 & 671-682. Card front gives us another great portrait photo of Mussina a bit bright on the colors but overall a very clean card design. The card back zooms in on the photo and gives us some commentary but lacks on player bio.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $1.00-$2.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell between $5.00-$10.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $20.00-$40.00 range.


1991 Ultra Update, Card No. U4 (shop eBay)

 

This 120 card set was produced in shorter print runs than other subsets in 1991. It has held its value over the years indicating it is a collectors must have. I have much respect for this premier issue of Fleer’s Ultra brand. This set offered a quality product with quality photography for a decent price, giving collectors the best of everything. Card front gives us full action photo and card back is a step above the rest.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $2.00-$5.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell between $8.00-$12.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $25.00-$40.00 range.


1991 Upper Deck, Card No. 65 (shop eBay)

 

For the third year in a row Upper Deck releases a high quality set, using great photography and card materials. They feature Mussina in his Standford University Suns college uniform. This “Top Prospect” card is a subset within the set and can be found on cards #’d 50-76 respectively. I appreciate the half torso, humble photo of Mike but the card back is a bit bland for me.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $1.00-$2.00; graded mint copies (9’s) sell between $5.00-$10.00 and gem mint copies (10’s) sell in the $20.00-$40.00 range.

Something to Consider

Perhaps you noticed the low monetary value on Mike Mussina’s cards. This is largely in part to the era these cards were printed. In 1991 cards were mass-produced by all card manufacturers. Demand was high and the printers kept printing. The result? Supply met demand and so the natural consequence is lower card values. Monetary value aside I can appreciate the fact that these are rookie cards of a great Hall of Famer. And for those reasons these cards will be a part of my collection.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy!


Sources:
Mike Mussina Stats | Baseball-Reference.com https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mussimi01.shtml (Accessed April 6, 2019).

 

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Victor Roman Sr

I've been collecting for over thirty years. My goal is to inform and inspire collectors of cardboard. I believe there is nothing that holds its value better than rookie cards of Hall of Famers, nor is there anything more rewarding than learning the history of the All-Time Greats. I summarize it this way- LEARN. COLLECT. ENJOY.