Results tagged ‘ Greg Maddux ’

7/25 Maddux memories

Rick Sutcliffe remembers when Greg Maddux first joined the Cubs in 1986 and watching the skinny right-hander pitch. There was one game in Maddux’s first year when someone hit a ball that should’ve resulted in a triple but the hitter stopped at second. That seemed puzzling to Sutcliffe. Maddux had been struggling, and Sutcliffe had experienced something similar his second year with the Dodgers. Apparently, Maddux was tipping his pitches, and the runner at second could send a message to his teammates.

Sutcliffe, Maddux and pitching coach Dick Pole figured out what was happening, and obviously, the young pitcher developed a plan.

“When the next season started, Greg would show the runner at second his change-up, and then he’d change it to a fastball,” Sutcliffe said Friday. “You’d see people in the opposing dugout, saying, ‘What’s going on?’ It turned everything around for him.”

Maddux went on to win 355 games, strike out 3,371 batters, win four Cy Young awards, and on Sunday, he’ll be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT live on MLB Network and simulcast on and the At-Bat app.

The Cubs have a contingent in Cooperstown to help celebrate Maddux’s induction, including chairman Tom Ricketts.

Maddux wasn’t just a good pitcher, he was a great teammate. Sutcliffe recalled the July 1987 game when Padres pitcher Eric Show hit Andre Dawson in the head with a pitch as pay back. Maddux was pitching that game, and had every intention of hitting the first batter he faced the next inning. But Maddux knew before the game that he was headed to the Minors if he didn’t win that day.

“He says, ‘I don’t care if I ever get another win, I’m hitting the first guy,'” Sutcliffe said. “He hit Benito Santiago at 95 miles an hour. I don’t know if he ever threw a pitch any harder than that. he gained the respect of everyone he played with by doing that.”

Maddux lockered next to Sutcliffe, who said it eventually got to the point where the young pitcher was teaching Sutcliffe things about the game.

There is one thing, though, that always irked Sutcliffe.

“It used to make [Ryne] Sandberg and I so mad — we’d go out to the parking lot and people would go crazy [for autographs],” Sutcliffe said. “Greg would put on that Mickey Mouse hat of his and walk right through the fans to his apartment. They’d say, ‘It’s the bat boy — I’m not going to bother the bat boy.’ Shoot, you’re talking about a Cy Young winner there.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/26 Hall of Fame

In a tip of the cap to the Cubs, Greg Maddux has announced he will go into the Hall of Fame with no logo on his cap. The Baseball Hall of Fame announced the cap selections that will appear on the Hall of Fame plaques last week. Induction ceremonies will be Sunday, July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

According to a statement by the Hall, the plaque serves to reflect the totality of a career, details an individual’s accomplishments in the game in approximately 90 words, while listing each team on which an individual played or managed. The HOF works with the inductees on their decision. Here was Maddux’s statement regarding his pick of no logo:

“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves,” Maddux said. “It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Maddux and Chicago

Greg Maddux was asked about the decision to leave the Cubs via free agency after the ’92 season on a conference call today.

“I did everything possible to stay there after the ’92 season,” Maddux said. “Things didn’t work out. I was fortunate enough to go back 11 years later. I love the city of Chicago. I actually love the Cubs. If you count the Minor Leagues, I was in Chicago for about 11 years and Atlanta for 11 years. I kind of split my time with the two teams.

“Chicago is a special place,” he said. “I would love to see them win a World Series here shortly. It would be awesome.”

Maddux pitched for the Cubs from 1986-92 and returned in 2004, leaving midway in the ’06 season.

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Mr. 300


Greg Maddux had special gloves made after he won his 300th game, and I was lucky enough to get one. It’s one of my favorite baseball souvenirs.

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 More Greg Maddux trivia

Greg Maddux became the 51st former Cubs player, manager or executive to earn induction into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He will be formally enshrined in Cooperstown on July 27.

Maddux retired as the eighth winningest pitcher in the history of the game with 355 wins, 133 of which came during his 10 seasons with the Cubs. He won the first of his four career Cy Young Awards with the Cubs in 1992 when he went 20-11 with a 2.18 ERA in 35 starts.

* With Hank O’Day and Deacon White being elected to the HOF in 2013, this will be the first time since 1975-1976 that multiple Cubs will be inducted into the HOF in consecutive years. Tony La Russa played for the Cubs, and will be inducted into Cooperstown as a manager. The other multiple Cubs inducted include Billy Herman and Ralph Kiner in 1975, and Freddy Lindstrom and Robin Roberts in ’76.

* With Ron Santo being elected in 2012, at least one Cub has been elected to the HOF for three consecutive years.

* Maddux is the 21st Cubs elected to the HOF by the BBWAA and the first since Andre Dawson in 2010. LaRussa was the 29th Cub elected via “Committees” – either the Veteran’s Committee or a Committee considering managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players.

* Maddux is the 13th Cubs elected to the HOF as a pitcher; the first since Rich “Goose” Gossage in 2008 (who also was elected by the BBWAA).

(Thanks to baseball historian Ed Hartig for the information)

1/8 “He was amazing”

Dick Pole sent a text message to Greg Maddux on Tuesday, trying to beat the rush of congratulatory messages. Maddux’s former pitching coach didn’t need the BBWAA to confirm what he already knew. Maddux is a Hall of Famer, and today, it was made official. Maddux was the leading vote getter, receiving 555 votes on 571 ballots.

Although Maddux won his first game as well as his 300th with the Cubs, and struck out his first batter and his 3,000th for Chicago, he will most likely go into the Hall wearing a Braves cap. A second-round pick in 1984, he pitched for the Cubs from 1986-1992, winning the first of four Cy Young awards in ’92 when he posted a 20-11 record, 2.18 ERA, and league-leading 268 innings.

He broke Cubs fans hearts when he left after the 1992 season via free agency, and signed with the Braves, where he pitched for 11 seasons, winning three more Cy Young trophies and 194 games. Whether or not the Cubs did enough to keep Maddux depends on who you talk to. Larry Himes, the general manager at that time, tried to make up for the loss by signing Jose Guzman, Greg Hibbard and Randy Myers. It wasn’t enough.

Maddux did return to the Cubs in 2004, and posted his 17th straight season with at least 15 wins, including No. 300 on Aug. 7 in San Francisco. He didn’t go onto the field to celebrate after the final out. Maddux, who had given up four runs over five innings in the 11-7 win, was in the clubhouse, watching.

Pole was Baker’s bench coach in ‘04 but their relationship began in the Minor Leagues. The two were together in 1986 at Triple-A Iowa when Maddux was 10-1 with a 3.02 ERA. The right-hander was called up that September and made his Major League debut on Sept. 3, 1986, as a pinch-runner in the 17th inning of a game which had been suspended the day before after 15 innings because of darkness. Wrigley Field didn’t have lights then.

Maddux stayed in to pitch the 18th, and served up a one-out home run to the Astros’ Billy Hatcher, and took the loss. He most likely shrugged it off. Four days later, Maddux picked up his first win on Sept. 7, throwing a complete game against the Reds at Riverfront Stadium.

When he first began pitching professionally, Maddux tried to throw as hard as he could. What made him change his approach?

“The hitters make it click with you,” he said. “When you start throwing it and they start whacking it, that’s what makes it click.”

That had been Pole’s message, and it sunk in during a winter ball stint. Cubs general manager Dallas Green wanted Maddux to work with Pole there, and sent the pitcher, coach and catcher Damon Berryhill to Venezuela. It worked.

“I knew he was going to be good when I saw him when he was young,” Pole said, “but I didn’t know how good he was going to be. If you want to find the definition of pitcher, it’s going to be Greg Maddux. It’s not stuff with him. It’s location, pitch selection, changing speeds.”

Pole remembered a day in June 2004 when Todd Walker got his 1,000th hit, and the ball was thrown into the dugout so Walker could have the souvenir. Maddux asked Pole why no one saved balls from low points in their careers.

That season, Pole found a ball in his locker, signed by Maddux, to signify the 300th home run the pitcher had served up. Pole also has Maddux’s autograph on a ball to commemorate the right-hander’s 200th loss.

The Cubs did celebrate Maddux at Wrigley Field on May 3, 2009, when the team retired No. 31 in honor of him and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, who also wore the number. Now, the two are together in Cooperstown. Pole wasn’t sure if he’d attend the ceremony July 27.

“Knowing you were a part of [his success] is good enough,” Pole said.

Pole’s text message to Maddux was a simple congratulations. The response: “Thanks Coach Pole for all the tips.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Congrats to Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux received baseball’s ultimate honor on Wednesday when he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maddux received 97.2 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America, and will join teammate Tom Glavine and White Sox slugger Frank Thomas in the induction ceremony in Cooperstown on July 27. If you’ve never gone to the Hall, you should.

1/8 He’s come a long way …


Here’s Greg Maddux’s rookie card.

1/8 Greg Maddux’s Cubs highlights

Greg Maddux appears headed to the Hall of Fame. An announcement will be made at 1 p.m. CT (You can watch on MLB Network).

Here are some highlights of his career with the Cubs:

* June 4, 1984: Cubs select Maddux with second-round pick out of Valley High School, Las Vegas. He signed later that month.

* Sept. 2, 1986: Made Major League debut as pinch-runner in 17th inning vs. Astros at Wrigley Field. He pitched the 18th inning in relief and served up game-winning home run to Billy Hatcher.

* Sept. 7, 1986: In first Major League start, Maddux throws complete game, 11-3, victory vs. Reds at Riverfront Stadium.

* May 11, 1987: Threw 1-0, 10-inning shutout victory over Padres at Wrigley Field. Gave up three hits, struck out eight and did not walk a batter. In his next start May 17 vs. Cardinals, he went 10 2/3 innings, and took loss when he gave up three runs in 11th.

* July 1988: Named to first All-Star team. Also named to All-Star team in 1992, 1994-98, and 2000. He started for the National League team in 1994, ’97 and ’98.

* Sept. 26, 1989: Maddux and Cubs beat the Expos, 3-2, in Montreal to clinch the National League East. The Cubs finished with the best record in the NL, 93-89, but lost to the Giants in the NL Championship Series.

* July 18, 1990: Maddux picks up his 50th career win, a 4-2 Cubs victory over Padres.

* 1990 season: Won the first of 18 Gold Glove awards. Also awarded in 1991-2002, 2004-08.

* Sept. 30, 1992: Threw seven-hit complete game victory vs. Pirates at Wrigley Field to pick up 20th win of the season. It was his last start for the Cubs as he left via free agency to sign with the Braves on Dec. 9.

* March 23, 2004: A free agent after 11 seasons with the Braves, he returned to the Cubs, signing for $6 million.

* Aug. 7, 2004: Maddux gives up four runs on seven hits over five innings in 8-4 win over Giants in San Francisco to pick up 300th career win.

* July 26, 2005: Maddux struck out the Giants’ Omar Vizquel in the third inning at Wrigley Field for his 3,000th career strikeout.

* July 31, 2006: In an effort to give Maddux a chance at postseason play, he is traded July 31, 2006, to the Dodgers for Cesar Izturis.

* May 3, 2009: Cubs retire No. 31 in honor of Maddux and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins at Wrigley Field.

* January 2010: Named special assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Helped with Minor League pitchers and scouting.

1/8 Hall of Fame projections

As of this morning, four players are projected to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame today, including former Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux. The Baseball Think Factory compiles ballots from voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and Maddux has received 99.5 percent of the vote. Tom Glavine (95.4 percent), Frank Thomas (89.7 percent) and Craig Biggio (78.4 percent) also were expected to get into Cooperstown, according to their results. A player needs 75 percent of the ballot to be inducted.

Hopefully, the following is a link to their results: