Don Mossi

From BR Bullpen

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Donald Louis Mossi
(The Sphinx; Ears)

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Southpaw Don Mossi, who was good-natured about having a funny-looking face, was also a better than average pitcher with a near 60 percent career winning record. He tallied 101 wins and 50 saves in his 12-year major league career, employing his sinking fastball and outstanding command as his main calling cards.

As a rookie, Mossi starred for the great Cleveland Indians team of 1954 that won 111 games. Mossi had a record of 6-1 with 7 saves and a 1.94 ERA.

His peak years in terms of wins were with the Detroit Tigers, where he went 17-9 in 1959 and 15-7 in 1961.

In post-season play, he pitched four innings in the 1954 World Series without giving up a run, and he pitched 2/3 inning in the 1957 All-Star Game without giving up a run.

Mossi was also successful in the minors. During five years in the minors (1949-1953) he never had a losing record.

He is cited by Bill James and others as one of the least handsome players ever to wear a major league uniform. Mossi did not have to put up with a demeaning nickname like Cuban counterpart Agapito Mayor, who got the nickname "Triple Ugly". In Ball Four, Jim Bouton had Mossi on the "All-Ugly Nine". Referring to Mossi's protruding ears, Bouton says Mossi "looked like a cab going down the street with its doors open."

In a 1995 interview [1], Mossi said that he grew up mostly in Daly City, CA. He was born in a small town in California, eventually moved back there and later moved to another small town in the north of the state.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (1957)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1959 & 1961)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1959 & 1961)

Records Held[edit]

  • Fielding percentage, pitcher, career, .990 (tied)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ray Ford: "Former pitcher Don Mossi, 'complete five-tool ugly player,' dies at 90", Detroit Free Press, July 24, 2019. [2]

Related Sites[edit]