July 23, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 99, Mike Mussina (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

Some years ago, a baseball executive of some renown was explaining the excellence of Mike Mussina, and he said something that I will never forget. He said: “You know what? The best way I can describe Moose is — the guy’s just a mensch.”

That’s a complicated scouting report.

Mensch is a fascinating word. It’s a Yiddish word, and its meaning is hard to fully capture. Mensch literally translates to “human being,” or “person.” In the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye the Milkman talks about how his son-in-law Motel has matured, and he says, “This Motel is a person.” He means…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 99, Mike Mussina” at The Athletic