Last week, Tim Duncan was duly saluted by Business Day One for his stunning contributions to both sports history and nerd culture. For this week’s salute, we look to the baseball diamond, where a geek has been outthinking hitters for eighteen years. Michael Cole Mussina, we salute you. And here’s why.
To be a pitcher that throws into one’s late thirties, you need to be smart. You must adjust your repertoire over time as your velocity decreases, and change your approach against batters that have seen you dozens of times. To be a competant starter for two decades takes fortitude and substantial wits. Mike Mussina has both, and has enough of both that he has some to spare. The Moose (a nerdy nickname if I’ve ever heard one) loves crossword puzzles. He doesn’t just love them, but he’s excellent at them, as evidenced by his appearance in the documentary Wordplay. That’s right, he’s so into crossword puzzles that he jumped at the change to be a part of a documentary about crossword puzzles.
His intelligence manifested itself early, in his hometown of Montoursville, Pennsylvania. He was nearly the valedictorian of his high school, which was no small feat considering he was also spending countless hours becomming as good a pitcher as he could be. He plowed through Stanford in three years and came out with an economics degree and gaudy enough college numbers to spark interest from the Baltimore Orioles.
A crossword enthusiast with a Stanford degree and over 250 career wins in the AL East definitely has the credentials for a Nerds In Sports Salute, but Moose decided to put one last bit of icing on the cake.
Apparently, when he checks into hotels, he uses the pseudonym of Simon Phoenix.
That’s right, Demoliton Man‘s Simon Phoenix.
Mike Mussina, on behalf of Nerds on Sports and the San Angeles Police Department, we salute you.