BALTIMORE -- With news that Roger Clemens is trying to make a career comeback, Mike Mussina said Friday he thought his former teammates were "crazy" to be stopping and starting their careers. The 43-year-old Mussina was just fine celebrating his.
The former Orioles pitcher, who spent 10 of his 18 pro seasons with Baltimore, will be officially enshrined into the team's Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony Saturday. Mussina and fellow inductee Rich Dauer were present Friday for the annual Oriole Advocates Luncheon. The event, now in its 27th year, will also honor longtime Orioles scout Walter Youse, who will be inducted posthumously as this year's Herb Armstrong Award winner.
Mussina spent a decade playing for the Orioles after being drafted by Baltimore as the 20th overall pick in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University. A five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner while with Baltimore, Mussina -- who played his final eight seasons with the Yankees -- had a record of 147-81 with a 3.53 ERA with the Orioles.
"I'm obviously honored," said Mussina, who made his first trip back to Baltimore since he retired for Friday's luncheon. "To be thought of in a way that you couldn't have pictured, to be put in the same room with [Jim] Palmer and Cal [Ripken Jr.] and guys who have accomplished so many things for this organization, most of them playing even longer than I did, it's really been nice.
"I'm not really sure that I've understood how big a deal it is; there's only so many organizations in the Major Leagues, and this team thought enough about my career here to include me [with] some of the best who have ever put the uniform on for these guys. So I really appreciate that."
Mussina won at least 15 games six times, including back-to-back 19-win seasons in 1995-96, and recorded 1,535 of his 2,813 strikeouts -- as well as 15 of 23 career shutouts -- while wearing the orange and black. He also threw three one-hitters for the Orioles.
In the 1997 postseason, Mussina went 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA in four starts, allowing one run on four hits in 15 innings over two American League Championship Series starts.
Asked if he considered himself a Yankee or an Oriole, Mussina, whose departure as a free agent to New York caused a mixture of outrage and sadness, reiterated his sentiment when he first learned the news this spring.
"I can't stand here and say it's one over the other," Mussina said. "Baltimore people want me to stay Baltimore, New York people want me to say New York. When I was here, I loved being here. And there's nothing else I can say about it. This was the only place I had known for the first 10 years of my career and it was a great place to play, and it was tough to leave when I had to go."
Dauer, now the third-base coach for the Colorado Rockies, always dreamed he would be back in Baltimore for this. A former first-round pick, Dauer spent his enter Major League career -- spanning 10 seasons -- with the Orioles, and he has watched several of his teammates accept the honor before getting his turn.
"I've always been an Oriole," Dauer said. "That's where I grew up. I see all my friends getting into the Hall of Fame, well-deserved I might add. I'm just thinking, 'Maybe someday.'
"I didn't plan on it ... but yeah, it was really thrilling [to get the call] in February, and what's really neat is that it's probably better now that I was put in, because now I can use it to motivate my players. When I told them I was going into the Orioles Hall of Fame, half of them came up to me and told me they were so surprised that I made it. The other half said, 'Maybe we'll listen to you once or twice.'"
Dauer, a selection of the Veterans Committee, holds two AL single-season fielding records for a second baseman, including 86 consecutive errorless games and 425 straight errorless chances, both of which he set in 1978. He played in two championships for the Orioles -- the World Series-winning squad in '83 and the AL pennant-winning '79 club, starting on the latter team.
"Winning always makes something special," said Dauer, who retired a career .257 hitter with a .310 on-base percentage and a .985 fielding percentage (.987 at second base).
Youse was also selected as the 18th recipient of the Herb Armstrong Award, given to non-uniformed personnel who have made significant contributions to the ballclub and the game of baseball. Youse, who passed away in 2002, was a longtime baseball scout and legendary amateur coach in Maryland.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.