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.
Greg 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.