Former Atlanta Braves great Greg Maddux was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame on Wednesday, but people did not see the first unanimous selection that anyone has seen. MLB.com writer Ken Gurnick made his ballot public Tuesday with just one vote on it: Jack Morris. The reasoning? He won’t vote for anyone from the steroid era because he can’t know for sure if he is voting for someone who took PEDs or not.
Monday night, former Brave and teammate of Maddux, Chipper Jones took to Twitter to show his feelings for the situation:
“So happy for my teammates, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, on their HOF vote. They’re both unanimous decision in my book…(cont’d) And btw, Jack Morris played against people on steroids, technically putting him the the steroid era. Some excuses make no sense.”
It seems quite difficult to me to understand the reasoning that goes on inside some of these writers’ heads when they are making these decisions. How in the world is Maddux not a unanimous first-ballot decision?
He is one of ten men that have amassed over 3,000 strikeouts while winning at least 300 games. From 1988 to 2006, Maddux averaged 17 wins per season and won at least 15 games in all but one of those years (13 in 2005). He is the only man to have won four Cy Young awards in a row, from 1992-1995. In those years, he had ERAs respectively of 2.18, 2.36, 1.56 and 1.63 while going 19-2 in the 1995 season. The two ERAs of 1994 and 1995 made Maddux the second pitcher in history to post ERAs under 1.80 in consecutive seasons (Walter Johnson in 1918-1919). In those four seasons, he led the league in ERA, complete games and WHIP the last three seasons as well as shutouts the last two. Doing this, he won more games in the 1990s than any other pitcher in baseball. In 2001, Maddux set a National League record by not giving up a walk in 71.1 consecutive innings.
In his 11 seasons with the Braves, Maddux went 197-88 with a total ERA of 2.63 while pitching 61 complete games, 21 of which were shutouts. In that time, he struck out 1,828 men and walked on 383. He held a WHIP of 1.051 and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was a crazy 4.77. To put this into prospective, Roger Clemens, in his 13 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, had a strikeout-to-walk ratior of 3.03 and a WHIP of 1.158.
There is the proof right there in front of you. With his numbers against one of the greatest power pitchers of all time, Maddux stacks up just a step higher every time. Comparing Maddux to Morris? I won’t waste anyone’s time with that; it’s not even close. Maddux has done things that haven’t been done since Johnson in 1919. He has broken records and set the bar extremely high for those Braves fans that had the pleasure of seeing him pitch. There is just no way that he should not have received 100 percent of the votes, but he did receive 97.2 percent of them, leaving him as the eighth highest vote-getter of all time.