Mussina and Dauer speak at the Hall of Fame Luncheon

The 27th Annual Orioles Hall of Fame Luncheon was today, honoring new inductees Mike Mussina and Rich Dauer, who is currently the Colorado Rockies third base coach. The Herb Armstrong recipient went to the late Walter Youse. I’ll have a full story up later on Orioles.com, but here’s some of what the two newest HoF’ers –who will be officially inducted in a pregame ceremony on Saturday — had to say…

MIKE MUSSINA

[on if he's thinking comeback like some of his former teammates] “Those guys, I think they are crazy first of all to be stopping and starting and trying to do that kind of stuff. If you are going to play play, if you are not then. You stop for a reason, either you lost the drive or your body is telling you it’s time to stop. Or whatever it is.   Andy [Pettitte] came back and looked good. Roger [Clemens] has come and gone a few times now, he’s trying it again. And we’ll see. [Jamie] Moyer is still out there, I don’t know if he’s every going to retire, some guys they just love it so much that that’s what they want to do. I loved the game and I loved playing, there’s so much other stuff that goes on, traveling and being away that sometimes that will wear you down. I had had enough of doing that. So I decided it was time to go home.”

[on being elected] “I’m obviously honored. To be thought of in a way that you couldn’t of pictured, to be put in the same room with Palme rand Cal 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 in some of the best who have ever put the uniform on for these guys. So, I really appreciate that. It’s my trip back to Baltimore since I retired. Even though it’s only three hours away. But it’s good to be back and stand up here in the warehouse and look down on the field, and get to do some of the stuff I used to do 15 years ago, it’s been a lot of fun.”

[hard to believe 14 straight losing seasons for the Orioles?] “Yeah, it’s kind of hard to believe. I guess it’s fun just how fast the years start ticking by. Whether you do well or you struggle, all of a sudden it’s another year and another year and all of sudden here comes spring training and it’s the all star break and you are coming down the stretch. There’s been other teams that have struggled for a long period of time too. We were a really good team there for a couple of years.  And things just went the other way in a hurry. And it’s unfortunate. It’s a great fan base, it’s a great stadium. Now that they’re back in the hunt trying to make it to the postseason it’s good to see. I don’t think people expected it in the beginning but teams have underachieved in the division and, they’ve for the most part stayed healthy and that’s what leads to good years. It’s nice to see them battling again and hopefully a couple of weeks from now they will put themselves in a really good spot.”

[On if he would enter baseball's HoF as a Yankee or Oriole] “I don’t think I get to choose. If I got to choose? That’s a tough question, because my career obviously is pretty evenly split between both places. You eliminate one and it changes everything about what I was able to do. I accomplished a lot of things here, I accomplished a lot of things in New York. I can’t stand here and say it’s one over the other.

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.”

RICH DAUER

[on if this moment has sunk in] “First of all, yeah I did. I’ve been following the Orioles now since 1985 when I left and I’ve always been an Oriole. 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 some day. I didn’t plan on it.  And then when they called and they said they were the Oriole Advocates, I was like, ‘Nah.’ But yeah, it was really thrilling in February and what’s really neat is that it’s probably better now that I was put in because no 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.’…It gave me a little bit of something.”

[Follow the Orioles from Colorado?] “I follow them every day. I know exactly what they do. I watch SportsCenter every night and I wait for the scores for everybody.This has to be tremendously thrilling for the Orioles. There’s nothing like postseason play. They’re nothing more exicitng. Every team in baseball goes to spring training with the idea that they’re going to play in the postseason. Sixty percent of them don’t have a chance, because the Yankees are going to get there. Baltimore hasn’t been there in a long time and they’re playing probably the best kind of baseball you can play. One-run games, that’s how you win championships. Defense, pitching. One night it’s one thing, another night it’s another thing. They’re in a tough division and it’s going to be very difficult but the extra wild card really makes it exciting.”

[1983  season still the highlight?] “Absolutely. Obviously getting to the big leagues was a big thrill. My whole goal in like was to play one day in the big leagues. Now to come back and to be put in the Hall of Fame of the only team you played with all the guys you played with, it’s really special. Like I said, I grew up there. I came here very young and immature and very cocky and I left here maybe a little bit older and stuff like that. It was always a goal of mine to get back here.”

[What made this place, that time special?] “Winning always makes something special. I don’t care what you say about developing players and great guys and all that, which we all have, but when you win and every time you come to the ballpark you pretty much have like Earl would use percantages. We at lead had a 51 percent chance of winning every single game, and we did. We one quite a few games during that time. I think that had a lot to do with it. The manager, Earl Weaver, had a lot to do with it because he was so unique to play for. When we finally finally got Ripken and Murray and you play with a couple tough guys like that, it’s almost nightly that you see a highlight of something that you think just didn’t happen…I’m just very fortunate because I was waiting for this to get here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow night too.”

[Who is filling in in Colorado] “Tommy Runnels is coaching third. The have enough guys on the staff. It’s not that tough to fill in for me.”

[Any question you’d make this?] “No doubt. As a matter of fact. The Colorado Rockies organization was pretty adamate about it being such a special event. Dan O’Dowd, who is our general manager, started his career with the Baltimore Orioles back when I was playing. So I’ve been hired by Dan O’Dowd, fired by Dan O’Dowd, sent to Baltimore by Dan O’Dowd and I’m still working for him. Hoepfully that will continue.”

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