Greg Maddux

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Gregory Alan Maddux
(Mad Dog; The Professor)

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2014

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Biographical Information[edit]

Greg Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and the dominant National League pitcher of his era. During the 2006 season, he entered the top ten of all time for wins, with 333 at the end of the 2006 season. He currently stands at #10 all time for wins and #12 for strikeouts. He is a four-time Cy Young Award winner, all of which came in consecutive seasons (1992-1995), and was in the top five in the voting five other times. He is a perennial Gold Glove winner, owning the award each year since 1990, except for 2003. His 18 lifetime Gold Gloves are an absolute record (Jim Kaat and Brooks Robinson have 16 each). He has led the league in ERA four times, and was second three other times. His 17 consecutive 15-win seasons are the most ever. The previous record was held by the legendary Cy Young, at 15 consecutive years with at least 15 wins (although Young routinely won many more than 15 a year). All four of the Hall of Fame appraisal methods put him in the top 13 pitchers of all time, with the Gray Ink method putting him at #6, ahead of Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens, and Tom Seaver. Maddux appeared in three World Series as a member of Atlanta's Big Three.

Maddux was signed as a 2nd round pick in the 1984 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and scout Doug Mapson. He made his debut on September 3, 1986 as a pinch runner, then stayed in the game and recorded a loss. He had a losing record in his first two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, in 1986 (2-4) and 1987 (6-14), but did not have another losing season until 2005. He recorded his 300th win on August 7, 2004. That made him the youngest 300 game winner since Pete Alexander as a 37-year-old in 1924.

He struck out Omar Vizquel (July 26, 2005) for his 3,000th career strikeout. Maddux became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to reach 3,000 strikeouts, and the 9th pitcher in MLB history with 300 career wins and 3,000 strikeouts; he is still the only pitcher in MLB history with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and less than 1,000 walks.

On July 31, 2006, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in part because of the scouting reports of Phil Rizzo, an elderly scout who specializes in looking over Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox players. In his first start for his new team on August 3, 2006, he pitched six innings of no-hit ball before rain forced a delay. After the delay, other pitchers were put in in relief, and the no-hitter was lost. He went 6-3 in 12 starts for the Dodgers, bringing his seasonal total to 15 wins, his 18th season of 15 or more wins overall. He also started a game in the NLDS against the New York Mets, the 30th post-season start of his career. In his final season, in 2008, Greg went 14 starts without a win while pitching for the San Diego Padres; it was the second longest such streak ever recorded by a former Cy Young Award winner - Fernando Valenzuela had gone 19 starts without a win for the Dodgers in 1988 and 1989.

Maddux could also help himself with the bat. He collected 180 sacrifice bunts over the course of his career, the highest total for a right-handed hitting pitcher; his long-time teammate Tom Glavine, a left-handed batter, holds the record for all pitchers, with 216 at the end of the 2008 season. One little-known aspect of Maddux's career is that he is the all-time leader for intentional walks for pitchers active after 1955, with 177. Next is Gaylord Perry, with 164. The top five pitchers on the list are all Hall of Famers and certainly in Maddux and Perry's case, they were both pitchers with high strikeout rates who were also very good at inducing ground balls - a combination that makes the intentional walk a much more rewarding strategy than on the average.

He is the brother of Mike Maddux, who also broke in during the 1986 season and had a long career, before becoming a highly-respected pitching coach.

Maddux was voted onto the Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove Team in 2007. Sportswriters have coined the term "a Maddux" to describe a complete game shutout in which the winning pitcher needs fewer than 100 pitches - something a specialty for Greg, who is credited with 11 such games from 1988 forward (complete pitch count numbers only dating back to 1988).

In 2011, Maddux was a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Chicago Cubs. He left the team after the season to join his brother Mike with the Texas Rangers, where he held the same position, advising Jon Daniels, but he was also listed as a special assistant coach on the major league staff in 2012. He was pitching coach for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA on his first try, on January 8, 2014; he received 555 votes out of a possible 571, or 97.2%, one of the highest totals ever. He was joined in that year's class by long-time Braves teammate Tom Glavine, and Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas. Three contemporary managers were also elected by the Veterans Committee, including Maddux and Glavine's long-time Braves skipper, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, creating a particularly large class of inductees when the formal induction ceremonies were held in Cooperstown, NY the following July 27th.

In 2016, Maddux joined the Dodgers' front office as a special assistant to President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 8-time NL All-Star (1988, 1992, 1994-1998 & 2000)
  • 4-time NL Cy Young Award Winner (1992-1995)
  • 18-time NL Gold Glove Winner (1990-2002 & 2004-2008)
  • 4-time NL ERA Leader (1993-1995 & 1998)
  • 3-time NL Wins Leader (1992, 1994 & 1995)
  • 2-time NL Winning Percentage Leader (1995 & 1997)
  • 5-time NL Innings Pitched Leader (1991-1995)
  • 3-time NL Complete Games Leader (1993-1995)
  • 5-time NL Shutouts Leader (1994, 1995, 1998, 2000 & 2001)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 18 (1988-2004 & 2006)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1992 & 1993)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 18 (1988-2001 & 2003-2006)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1998)
  • Won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2014

NL Cy Young Award
1991 1992 1993
Tom Glavine Greg Maddux Greg Maddux
1992 1993 1994
Greg Maddux Greg Maddux Greg Maddux
1993 1994 1995
Greg Maddux Greg Maddux Greg Maddux
1994 1995 1996
Greg Maddux Greg Maddux John Smoltz

Records Held[edit]

  • Seasons of 15 or more wins, 18 (tied)
  • Putouts, pitcher, career, 546
  • Double plays, pitcher, career, 98
  • Gold Gloves, career, 18

Further Reading[edit]

  • Mark Bowman: "Despite great heights, Maddux true to roots: Legendary right-hander, fond of time with Cubs, entering Hall of Fame with no logo",, July 27, 2014. [1]
  • Richard Justice: "7 legendary Greg Maddux stories",, April 14, 2020. [2]
  • Joe Posnanski: "Introducing 'The Maddux' to its legendary namesake: Hall of Famer was the master of control and efficiency",, May 9, 2017. [3]
  • Andrew Simon: "30 years ago, Maddux got his 1st 'Maddux'",, April 29, 2020. [4]
  • Warren N. Wilbert: What Makes an Elite Pitcher? Young, Mathewson, Johnson, Alexander, Grove, Spahn, Seaver, Clemens, and Maddux, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7864-1456-7

Related Sites[edit]