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MAD DOG HAS HIS DAY The selection of Greg Maddux came as little surprise. What may have been surprising was that he wasn’t chosen unanimously. He came close, getting named on 97.2 percent of the ballots (named on 555 of the 571 ballots). The selection of Maddux, one of the brainiest pitchers ever to toe the rubber, was a no-brainer. Although rather pedestrian in frame—he stood 6-0, 170 pounds—with slim, wire-framed glasses (off the field, that is), Gregory Allen Maddux earned the nickname “Mad Dog” and “The Professor” while personifying a pitcher. “It’s a very humbling experience,” said Maddux, who chose a fitting, albeit interesting word to summarize his career. “I guess overachieve would be a good one, in one word.“ Overmatch would fit as well, as that’s how hitters facing Maddux probably felt. Despite taking the mound with a fastball that topped out right around 90, Maddux had a plan and his IQ. In 23 big league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, who drafted him on the second round of the 1984 Draft, then the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, Maddux pitched to a 355-227 record with a 3.16 ERA. His 355 victories rank eighth in Major League history. An eight-time All-Star, he led the NL in wins three times and from 1992-95 owned the Cy Young Award. When he didn’t win it, he came close, finishing in the top five on five other occasions. But Maddux’s style was more impressive than his numbers. After a couple of tough seasons filled with growing pains early in his career (2-4 in 1986 and 6-14 in 1987 as a 21-year-old rookie), he became the elite pitcher of his generation, winning at least 15 games 17 consecutive seasons. He was a master of location, and control, playing a cat-and-mouse game with hitters that they couldn’t figure out. He subtly manipulated the strike zone, adding an inch here and an inch there to the outside and inside corners, which over the course gradually widened the strike zone and resulted in pitches frustrated hitters and managers referred to as “The Maddux Strike.” His theory of pitching was simple: “Hitting is timing. Pitching is disrupting timing.” He frustrated hitters to the point that when they weren’t watching his back-up slider hit the corner they often couldn’t pull the trigger on a fastball that bisected the plate. When the ball was hit in play, Maddux was superb at fielding his position. He won a Major-League record 18 Gold Gloves and finished his career with an immaculate .970 fielding percentage. Although not big, he was durable with a smooth delivery, making 740 starts, fourth most in Major League history, pitching 5,008 2/3 innings (tied for 13th all-time), and pitched at least 200 innings 18 times. For a pitcher who wasn’t known as a strikeout artist, Maddux finished 10th on the all-time strikeout list, ringing up 3,371 batters. Excellence of Execution Tom Glavine was the left-handed complement to Maddux. Almost the exact same size, Glavine was 6-0, 175, but there were differences. Glavine, who also earned better than 90 percent of the vote, getting 91.9 (525 votes), was a great athlete and a two-sport star—he was drafted by the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings on the fourth round (69th overall) of the 1984 Draft, ahead of future Hall of Famers Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull. He also was more averse to changing things up—unless, he was throwing his devastating change-up. Selected by the Braves on the second Glavine STEPHEN DUNN/GETTY IMAGES SPORT


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