Greg Maddux Elected to the Hall of Fame

Greg Maddux’s election to the Hall of Fame was a given, the countdown to this day began when he announced his retirement from the game. Greg Maddux was the best starting pitcher of his generation and one of the greatest of all-time. Maddux was officially elected to the Hall of Fame and will take his place in Cooperstown among the best that have ever played the game in late July. Mad Dog was named on 555 of the 571 ballots (97.2%).

Greg Maddux finished his 23-year big league career with a 355-227 record in 744 appearances, 740 starts, with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Maddux struck out 3371 batters while issuing only 999 walks over his career. Maddux is one of only four pitchers in baseball history with 3000 career strikeouts and less than 1000 walks (Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling).

Greg Maddux won four straight Cy Young Awards (1992-1995), 18 consecutive Gold Gloves (1990-2008), led the NL in ERA four times (1993-1995, 1998), wins three times (1992, 1994-1995), innings pitched five times (1991-1995), games started four times (1990-1993), complete games three times (1993-1995) and shutouts five times (1994-1995, 1998-2001). The only achievement Maddux did not accomplish during his career was he could not toss a no-hitter.

Dallas Green and the Chicago Cubs selected Greg Maddux in the second round of the 1984 draft. Maddux pitched for four different teams during his career (Cubs, Braves, Dodgers and Padres) and spent two different stints with the Cubs.

Greg Maddux made his big league debut on September 2, 1986 at just 20 years old. Maddux went 2-4 in six games, five starts, in 1986 with a 5.52 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP. Maddux spent a majority of the 1987 season with the Cubs and went 6-14 in 30 appearances, 27 games, with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Not exactly the start to a Hall of Fame career.

Greg Maddux’s breakout season came in 1988. Maddux went 18-8 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP then helped lead The Boys of Zimmer to the 1989 NL Eastern Division crown with a 19-12 record in 34 starts with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Maddux’s first of four straight Cy Young awards came with the Cubs in 1992 after he went 20-11 in 35 starts with a 2.18 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. Maddux completed 268 innings in his final season with the Cubs.

The Atlanta Braves signed Greg Maddux on Dec. 9, 1992 and he made his Braves’ debut against the Cubs on April 5, 1993 at Wrigley Field. Maddux began his career of dominating the Cubs (12-4 in 24 starts, 2.65 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) with a 1-0 shutout victory against his former team. Maddux allowed just five hits in 8 1/3 innings.

Greg Maddux, along with Tom Glavine and John Smoltz led the Braves through the 90’s with the highlight coming in 1995 when Atlanta beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Maddux finished his career in Atlanta with a 194-99 record in 363 starts over 11 years with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Maddux made his last start in a Braves’ uniform against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Oct. 3, 2003. Mark Prior beat Maddux in game three of the NLDS 3-1.

Greg Maddux re-signed with the Cubs on March 23, 2004 and was supposed to join Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano and Matt Clement in the rotation that would lead the Cubs to a pennant. Maddux held up his end of the deal and posted a 16-11 record in 33 starts with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Maddux spent all of the 2005 season with the Cubs and a majority of the 2006 campaign before Jim Hendry traded Maddux to the Dodgers on July 31, 2006 for Cesar Izturis.

The Professor picked up his 300th career victory in a Cubs’ uniform on August 7, 2004 against the Giants in San Francisco and strikeout number 3000 came on July 26, 2005 after rain delayed the start of the game against the Giants for three hours.

Maddux-print-1Greg Maddux beat the Cardinals 4-2 in his final game in a Cubs’ uniform at Wrigley Field on July 29, 2006. Maddux earned career win number 327 that afternoon and left the field to a standing ovation. Maddux ended up with a 133-112 record in 302 games, 298 starts, over 10 years in a Cubs’ uniform with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Greg Maddux spent the rest of the 2006 campaign with the Dodgers, signed on with the Padres in 2007 and ended his career in a Dodgers uniform in 2008.

Greg Maddux will be joined this July (July 26-27) by Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. The 75th Anniversary of Hall of Fame weekend will be special with the three players going into the Hall as well as Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa all being enshrined into Cooperstown.

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  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Congratulations, Greg Maddux.

    • paulcatanese

      Three stars for him.:)

  • Sanibelchuck

    Congratulations, Greg Maddux. My Florida license plate: CUBS 31 Also the number of the great Fergie Jenkins, HOF. Is there another baseball club that has retired a uniform number worn by to HOFers?

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Reds & Indians on Frank Robinson I guess.

  • John G

    Congrats to Maddux, Glavine and Thomas. But my heart goes out to Biggio. 74.8% of the vote? Don’t they believe in rounding? 571 votes cast…That means he needed 1.14 more votes. You mean to tell me that there aren’t two more BBWA guys that think he belongs in the HOF? He was robbed. Now he has to wait a whole nuther year.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I think the funniest part of the HOF voting was that Moises Alou, Hideo Nomo, ARMANDO BENITEZ, ERIC GAGNE, Luis Gonzalez, JACQUE JONES, KENNY ROGERS and JT SNOW got votes. Anyone who voted for the capitalized ones needs their votership revoked.

    • John G

      And at 4.4%, Rafael Palmeiro is OFF the ballot. Wasn’t he the one that did Viagra commercials? Hmmmmmm…….

      • paulcatanese

        Don’t know about the commercial, but I think there’s a HOF second baseman with a little smile on his face. Payback, it’s sweet.

        • CubbyDenCritic

          She did more than one player on that Cubs team.

          • paulcatanese

            Well Rome wasn’t built in a day. I didn’t like it when I found out about it on the CCO, and I don’t like it now.
            I goofed, shouldn’t have even brought it up. I won’t mention it again, my bad.

      • Dorasaga

        “Can’t beat the real thing.” Kids loved him. So were all the sponsors.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MWLREF0dLc

    • CubbyDenCritic

      No Voting Card…..No American Idol judging…..No Hawaiian Tropical Tan Contests……

  • John_CC

    Sweet. Maddux was simply the best. Class act and completely dominant for the majority of his career.

    The cheap-ass Tribune Co … Never to be forgiven for letting him walk. What a travesty.

    And that first full season, youch. Should give some people pause before skewering every young player when their first full season isn’t great, let alone decent.

    Congrats Maddog. Great day!

    • CubbyDenCritic

      It was NOT about the Money……Cubs did offer more money then Atlanta…….it was all about facing another team mate.

      • John_CC

        What are you talking about?

        • CubbyDenCritic

          If you don’t know the Maddux inside story by now, then you are too young or too blinded.

          • John_CC

            Well well, aren’t you Mr. Special.

            fwiw I have watched Maddux pitch, in person mind you and I’m not sure what you mean by “too blinded.”

            I was simply asking you what were talking about when you said “it was all about facing another team mate” which I still do not know what that means. But don’t bother.

    • cubtex

      Maddux’s first full year he pitched as a 21 year old. At age 22 he was 18-8. Not too many people I know would write off a player at age 21. Use your eyes. The eye ball test can be very useful when looking at players of all ages.

      • John_CC

        I can think of couple…

        • cubtex

          Really? Must be some people that don’t understand 21 year old pitchers in your area.

          • John_CC

            not many baseball fans in Montana. :)

            Drop it.

      • Ripsnorter1

        The way the Cubs let a Hall of Fame pitcher walk away for nothing demonstrates exactly what was/is wrong with the Cubs. In the past, they have let difference makers go for money reasons. You cannot build a WS team without difference makers. And the Maddux affair wasn’t the first or last time that the Cubs did this.

  • cc002600

    congrats to maddog, glavine, big hurt. All deserving.

    and it brings a smile to my face to see jerks like Bonds, Clemens, and palmerio get less votes.. They will never get in, and don’t deserve it. They are all arrogant, insufferable cheaters. Buh bye. What goes around, comes around.

    I think the writers got it right. Biggio will make it next year.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      ALL Baseball players are arrogant, selfish, insufferable cheaters……and also Millionaires.

  • Gramps

    Congrats to Greg Maddux! One of my all time favorites. Kind of amazing to me that the Braves did not win more World Series what with having Maddux and Glavine. Just goes to show that baseball is a game that is decided by more than just having superstars.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Superstars…..haven’t seen any of them around Wrigley in a Cubs uniform for awhile.

    • Sanibelchuck

      1969 Cubs: 4 HOFers – Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins. Leo Durocher as manager and the September decline. That team needed a Bobby Cox manager. World Series – Mets

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Here’s hoping the HoF lets him go in as a Cub.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      NOT Happening

    • John_CC

      With the Braves: 3 straight Cy’s, a World Series Championship, and look at that record!

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        11 seasons as a player with Atlanta, 10 with the Cubs.

        • John_CC

          I understand Ray. I wish very much that his bust would have a C on the cap rather than an A. But it’s not about the number of years. He pitched more games for the Braves and had by far his best years with them: 194-99!! 2.63 ERA, 1.05 WHIP!! 3 straight Cy Youngs!

          • raymondrobertkoenig

            Just saying that a case could be made for Maddux to enter the HoF as a Cub. Of course it’s not up to us.

  • John_CC

    Here is an interesting look at the free agent market for the best 26 year old pitcher on the market and the desperation of the Yankees to attain him … 24 years ago.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/10/sports/baseball-maddux-bolts-and-yankees-feel-jilted.html?src=pm

    • SuzyS

      John, Thanks for the link…it is an interesting look into the past…and possibly the future as I still believe that money is not always the final determining factor in landing a competitive player.
      The best players have the will to win as well.

      The article also reopens the scab that Larry Hines left when we mishandles the Maddux negotiations many years ago.

      More than anything, Maddux was just a joy to watch when he pitched…hopefully, the Cubs will have some real pitchers on their staff in the near future ones that know not just how to pitch…but to dominate and win.

      Congrats to Gregg/Big Hurt/ and Glavine…they all deserve Cooperstown!!!

  • GaryLeeT

    Mad Dog could almost have been elected to the Hall on his defense alone. I doubt the record 18 straight GG awards will ever be broken, or even as a total.

  • Sonate

    Congrats to Greg (and Glavine and Big Hurt). Maddux did not exceed “Tom Terrific’s” percentage (98.8) in HOF voting, but he should have. Both are great pitchers and my Cub biases lead me to believe that Greg was just a shade better than Seaver. However, Maddux was a premier fielder (18 GG) relative to Seaver. That should have pushed him over the “Seaver threshold”. That it did not indicates that some writers vote with their spleen instead of their brain.

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  • WidespreadHisPanic

    Congratulations Greg Maddux!

  • Tony_Hall

    Congrats to Greg Maddux on his induction to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Whenever I am working with young kids who want to pitch, I tell them to watch Greg Maddux. The mechanics how he has a plan of how to attack each hitter, but most importantly, how he finishes ready to play defense. Helping yourself as a pitcher is common sense, but with kids, this is all about learning to protect themselves.