Conor’s Hall of Fame Ballot: Greg Maddux
In this Hall of Fame ballot, there’s nobody more deserving of a spot than Greg Maddux. Few players outdid him on the field, and nobody outdid him off the field as Maddux is one of few elite players in this Hall of Fame class who have not been linked to steroids. However, don’t think of him as a guy who will just get in because he was a decent player who wasn’t linked to steroids. Maddux deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame regardless of what happens to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
February 17, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers special assistant to the general manager Greg Maddux smiles during spring training at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Maddux had a 23 year career primarily between the Cubs and Braves, with a few years spent with the Dodgers and Padres. In those 23 years, Maddux’s numbers speak for themselves: 355 wins (8th all-time), 3371 strikeouts (10th all-time), 5008.1 innings pitched (13th all-time), 4 Cy Young Awards(consecutive, no less), and with a career 3.16 ERA to boot.
There’s no doubt that Maddux will make it into the Hall of Fame, it’s just a question of whether he will get in this year– his first time on the ballot. If the BBWAA continues to be predictable and avoid the steroid-tainted players, Maddux has as good a shot as anybody. If anything, the presence of these players will help him not only by narrowing the ballot, but because it makes Maddux even more deserving.
In a time where steroids ran wild and offensive numbers peaked, Maddux had a remarkable career 132 ERA+ and during his Cy Young stretch from 1992-1995, Maddux posted ridiculous ERA+ totals of 166, 170, 271, and 260. Keeping all this in mind, it’s hard to imagine that Maddux will not be voted into the Hall of Fame very soon.