31

Over the past 20 years there have been dozens of pitchers that have challenged the best hitters in the game. They pushed the best teams to their limits and challenged some of the greatest records the game has to offer.

Pitchers like Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, and John Smoltz have lead the way. Through all the controversy there has been one pitcher who has truly weathered the storm. He has played the game with all the class in the world while bolstering one of the greatest resumes one could ever hope for. That player is #31, Greg Maddux.

Greg MadduxOn Friday Maddux will have his number retired by the Atlanta Braves. This is after he has had his number retired by the Chicago Cubs earlier this season. Here’s a look back on arguably the greatest pitcher in the last 50 years.

Greg Maddux began his career as a lanky pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in 1986 at the age of 20. Maddux would spend the next 7 season in Chicago, winning at least 15 games 5 times and at least 18 games 3 times. Despite having an excellent resume Maddux’s career was just about to take off. Maddux would then sign with the Atlanta Braves and begin a streak of dominance that has yet to be contested.

Greg MadduxMaddux would spend the next 11 seasons with the Braves and would collect 3 of his 4 Cy Young Awards while accumulating 194 wins. Maddux’s best season came in 1995, where he went 19-2 with a 1.63 ERA. He would throw 10 complete games to go with 3 shutouts on his way to his 4th and final Cy Young Award and only World Series victory.

Maddux is an 8-time All-Star and an 18-time Gold Glove winner. Maddux was able to redefine the position from a defensive standpoint on his way to cementing himself as the great defensive pitcher of all time.

Maddux lead the league in wins 3 times (1992, 1994, 1995) and in ERA 4 times (1993, 1994, 1995, 1998). He lead the league in WHIP 4 times (1993, 1994, 1995, 1998) as well as walks per 9 innings pitched 9 times (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008). Maddux’s durability further proves why he is one of the greatest. In a stretch from 1990-1996 Maddux finished no worse than 2nd in the National League in innings pitched. That streak included 4 years (1991-1995) in which he lead the NL in innings pitched with no fewer than 202.0 (1994).

When it comes to all-time statistics Maddux ranks 13th in innings pitched (5008.1), 8th in wins (355), 4th in games started (740), and 10th in strikeouts (3371). This goes without mentioning he has only walked 999 batters in his entire career.

Not only is Maddux one of the greatest on the field, he has been an amazing human being off the field. In 1993 Maddux formed The Maddux Foundation which has raised over $850,000 for other various charities.

Greg MadduxThere is no doubt that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer and is one of the greatest pitchers to ever grace the field. A tip of the cap to a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person.

“Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.”Warren Spahn


~Ben

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23 comments

  1. matttan7

    Greg Maddux was fun to watch when pitching for the Braves and Cubs. He’ll probably enter in the hall of fame with either of those two clubs. He was okay with his brief stints with the Dodgers and Padres as well. Nice Maddux article.

    Matthew T.
    http://matt7.mlblogs.com/about.html

  2. Amazin86er

    How fittingly it will come against the Mets. He drove me nuts many times. Well, both Maddux and Glavine getting 4-6 inches off the plate drove me nuts. However, there is no denying he was easily one of the best of his era. A great pitcher, baseball player, and true competitor. Congrats to Mr. Maddux. Oh how do I miss the Mets/Braves rivalry even though the Mets came out on the short end more times than not. Speaking of the #31 I think the Mets should retire Mr. Piazza’s number as well…

    -Amazin86er
    http://the1constant.mlblogs.com/

  3. raysfanboy

    Maddux was my favorite pitcher growing up watching the Cubs. It broke my heart when he left for Atlanta. He was just fun to watch because he wouldn’t blow people away. He would just nit-pick until you finally gave up.

    I am hoping that he’ll wear a Cubs hat in Cooperstown, but that might be tough considering he had his biggest years with the Braves. We’ll see.
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

  4. welikeroywelikeroy

    As soon as the S word allegations hit Clemens. Maddux immediately shot up past him to #1, as far as starting pitchers in this era.

    He had the full package. Command, control and variety of speeds that in his prime – presented a full arsenal. Great quote Warren Spahn quote, btw.

    Unlike any pitcher I’ve ever seen, Maddux had the most command. Breaking ball, change, fastball … he’d hardly ever miss. You could tell he was always in full control of the strike zone. Amazing to watch really!
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  5. santosis

    Maddux was a classy pitcher throughout his career–and his 1994 and 1995 seasons rank 4th and 5th all-time for ERA+. Were he more of a proto-typical dominant pitcher (i.e., strikeouts, challenging fastballs, etc) he doubtlessly would have received more attention. Ditto if he played in one of baseball’s media hubs. But perhaps the bright lights and constant attention wouldn’t have suited him. To echo a few here, the amazing thing about watching Maddux was something you really didn’t see until you knew to look for it: a catcher could go an entire inning without ever moving his glove.

  6. raysrenegade

    My best image of Maddux is still sitting with Tom Glavine on the bench during that Nike commercial and proclaiming “chick did the long ball.”
    It set such a great smile on my face that a pitcher would say such a thing.
    He is simply a first ballot Hall of Famer.
    I am sad to see him leave the game, but he also has the insight to know when to stop pushing the limits and accept the final truth.
    It might be over, but this is not the last time we will see him…….that we both know is true,

    Rays renegade

    http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

  7. diamondgirl55

    Hey thanks for the compliment on my nickname for Morrow! I made it up myself and pretty proud of it, hehe. And yes! Ichiro is so underrated! Anything he does is normal now! Sob! :'[

    Love your blog! Maddux was definitely amazing! I’m tipping my pink M’s cap. :] xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

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