Former Cub Greg Maddux Retires
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 8, 2008 9:00PM
Today, one of the greatest pitcher of our generation announced his retirement at baseball's Winter Meetings in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Never overpowering -- his fastball topped out at 88 mph -- he nonetheless ranks among the top 10 all-time in strikeouts and wins. At six feet and 185 lbs, he didn't possess the prototypical pitchers physique and yet he held up for 23 seasons. With the looks of an accountant, he will go down as one of the greatest ever to play the game of baseball.
Greg Maddux began his Hall of Fame career with the Cubs in 1986 and pitched for the team until 1992, when the Cubs made one of their biggest blunders and allowed him to sign as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves. During his 11 seasons in Atlanta, Maddux teamed up with the likes of Tom Glavine and Jon Smoltz to anchor a pitching staff that contended for the World Series annually, winning a ring in 1995. When the Braves amazing run came to a close, Maddux rejoined his original team on the North Side. His second tour of duty with the Cubs lasted from 2004 to 2006, during which time he won his 300th game. Since traded by the Cubs in the middle of the '06 season, he's bounced between the Dodgers and Padres the past couple seasons. Over an amazing 23 season major league career, Mad Dog won 355 games -- 133 of those for the Cubs.
Maddux also earned his first Cy Young while pitching for the Cubs in '92, following it up with three more consecutively in Atlanta. While never overpowering, Maddux treated pitching as an art form and found success few ever have. He won at least 13 games in 20 straight seasons and compiled a career ERA of 3.16. Along the way, he also picked up 18 Golden Glove awards for his fielding.
A quiet and unassuming player, though apparently quite the prankster, Maddux displayed none of the ego and attitude that personifies most stars in professional sports. Chicagoist enjoyed watching him work his craft in Chicago, but actually watched more Maddux while we spent parts of eight baseball seasons in Atlanta during Maddux's time with the Braves. We know we'll certainly miss watching him. ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski, however, claims he won't -- until Spring Training begins!
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo