5 Reasons Why Greg Maddux Belongs in the MLB Hall of Fame
Why Greg Maddux is a Hall of Famer
After a historic career in the MLB, Greg Maddux was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He was on 555 out of a possible 571 ballots. That was good enough for 97.2 percent of the votes, the eighth highest percentage in baseball history.
A first ballot Hall of Famer, Maddux played for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres over his 23-year career. He is best remembered for his 11 years with Atlanta and his 10 years with the Cubs. He began his career with the Cubs back in 1986 and retired with the Dodgers in 2008.
Folks, the fact that Maddux wasn’t a unanimous decision is shocking. Someone with his resume deserves to be a unanimous first ballot Hall of Famer. The 16 people that left him off their ballot should be ashamed of themselves. As we’ll dig into on the following slides, he’s got everything you need to be a unanimous pick for the Hall of Fame. Hopefully after reading this slideshow, you’ll be as outraged as I am that he wasn’t the first-ever unanimous pick.
Maddux joins former Braves pitcher Tom Glavine and Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas as the three 2014 inductees to Cooperstown. All three men are deserving of the award and are surefire Hall of Famers.
On the following five slides, you’ll find five reasons why Greg Maddux belongs in the MLB Hall of Fame. For the 16 people that didn’t vote for Maddux, hopefully these five reasons talk some sense into you.
5. The Stats
The first place to look to figure out why he belongs in the Hall of Fame is his numbers. Maddux finished his career with 355 wins and a 3.16 ERA. He totaled 3,371 strikeouts and less than 1,000 walks over his 23 seasons.
Maddux is the only player in MLB history to win at least 15 games in 17 consecutive seasons and is eighth on the all-time wins list. In the 1990s, he won more games than any other pitcher.
4. The Awards and Honors
Maddux was an eight-time All-Star including six All-Star Game appearances in the 1990s. He won the Gold Glove Award 18 times, including 13 straight between 1990 and 2002. He became the first pitcher to win the NL Cy Young Award four straight years between 1992 and 1995.
Maddux has had his No. 31 retired by both the Cubs and the Braves.
I don’t mean brawn as in overpowering strength, I’m talking about all-around ability. Maddux never saw his fastball get above the mid-90s and dipped in the mid-80s by the time he retired, but he was still dominant. He was efficient in his work and played his position well as a fielder.
His ability to be so precise with every throw is something we may never see again. As a hitter, he may not have been able to blow pitches past you, but he’d put them where you’d never expect it. With respect to Maddux’s accuracy, Orel Hershiser once said, “This guy can throw a ball in a teacup.”
For just one minute, I would love to peer into the baseball mind of Greg Maddux. As alluded to earlier, he didn’t overpower his opponents, he would outsmart them. While his foes were in the clubhouse juicing, he was in the dugout studying and coming up with new ways to beat the competition. He mixed pitches, locations and speeds as good as anyone and kept his hitters guessing on every at-bat.
1. Hall Of Fame Character
As a person, Maddux is a Hall of Famer. When Sporting News named him the best pitcher of the 1990s, Maddux responded by saying, “It [the award] could have gone to [Tom] Glavine or [John] Smoltz just as easily and each would have deserved it. They're both great pitchers.” He also maintains that Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Tom Seaver are the best pitchers of the live ball era.
Maddux pitched in the steroids era of baseball and was still just as dominant. Some regard him as the most underrated pitcher in baseball history, but you never hear him gripe or complain. He’s humble and is an absolute pro. If there was ever a model Hall of Famer, it’s him.