31 special things about Greg Maddux
Here are 31 thoughts, facts, moments and memories of No. 31, Greg Maddux:
1 With 546 career putouts, Maddux is No. 1 in baseball history among pitchers. Next is Kevin Brown with 388.
2 When he signed with the Cubs for the second time in his career -- as a free agent in 2004 -- Maddux said, "It just felt right. I wanted to come back. I wanted to forget all the stuff that happened when I left."
3 Led the league in ERA for three straight seasons (1993-95), going 55-18 with a 1.90 ERA in 678 innings and a WHIP of 0.93.
4 Won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992-95.
5 Maddux led the league in innings pitched for five consecutive years, from 1991-95.
6 In 1988, Maddux threw more than 130 pitches in 6 starts. He threw 143 in his first start of the year, and 167 on May 17 when he went 10⅔ innings scoreless before a two-out, bad-hop, bases-loaded single in the 11th cost him the game.
Maddux was 15-3 after a 131-pitch outing on July 10, his fifth 130-plus pitch game of the season. He went 3-5 the rest of the way.
7 The number of times Maddux was booed at Wrigley Field on Opening Day 1993, when he made his first start for the Atlanta Braves. Maddux went 8⅓ innings and picked up the win in the Braves' 1-0 victory over the Cubs and Mike Morgan.
8 With 97.19 percent of the Hall of Fame vote, Maddux recorded the eighth-highest percentage ever.
9 Maddux pitched a 9-inning complete game, 4-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 22, 1997. He allowed 5 hits and no walks with 6 strikeouts.
The game took 2:07, and Maddux threw 76 pitches as the Cubs tried a new tactic. They swung early in at-bats, knowing Maddux always tried to get ahead in the count.
The Cubs made outs on the first pitch 11 times and the second pitch four times. Said Mark Grace after the game, "I guess that was a bad idea."
10 Maddux is 10th all time in strikeouts with 3,371.
11 Maddux is 11th all time among pitchers in assists with 1,194.
12 Maddux was first in the league in assists 12 times.
13 With 5,008 innings-pitched, Maddux is 13th all time.
14 Maddux had 14 stolen base attempts and was successful 11 times in his career. He had at least 1 stolen base in each of the last five years of his career, from age 38 to 42.
15 He finished his career 15th all time in batters faced with 20,421. Only 999 of them walked. His career WHIP was 1.14.
16 Sixteen voters did not put a check mark next to his name on the Hall of Fame ballot. Seriously.
17 Won at least 15 games in 17 straight seasons.
18 Maddux won 18 Gold Gloves, the most in baseball history by any player at any position.
19 This is the number of times combined that Maddux led the league in wins, ERA, WHIP, innings pitched and complete games.
20 Maddux was 20 years old and the youngest player in baseball when he made his major-league debut on Sept. 3, 1986.
The game is listed as Sept. 2, but Maddux pitched an inning in relief in a suspended game that was restarted at Wrigley Field on Sept. 3.
He gave up 1 run and 1 hit, a home run to Houston's Billy Hatcher and took the loss. He actually entered the game as a pinch runner for Jody Davis in the bottom of the 17th, thus making his first big-league appearance.
21 He threw 194 innings or more 21 times, including 18 seasons of 200-plus innings, 12 seasons of 225-plus innings and seven seasons of 245-plus innings.
22 Number of times Maddux faced Ryne Sandberg during his career. Sandberg went 7-for-22 (. 318) with 1 RBI and 4 strikeouts.
Luis Gonzalez (. 325) had the best career against Maddux with 10 homers and 23 RBI, the most of any player in both categories.
Barry Bonds (. 265) had the most walks (24), Ray Lankford the most strikeouts (33), and Craig Biggio tied Gonzalez with the most hits (40).
23 In his 23 seasons, Maddux won a single World Series ring, in 1995 when the Braves defeated the Indians in six games.
On Oct. 21, 1995, the Braves beat the Indians 3-2 in Game 1 with Maddux throwing a 2-hitter in his first World Series game. He allowed 2 unearned runs and defeated Orel Hershiser.
24 Of the 24 first-place votes for National League Cy Young in 1992, Maddux collected 20 and easily captured the award for the first of his four straight while posting a WAR of 9.2, the highest of any player in baseball.
He won his 20th game in his final start for the Cubs before hitting free agency, a complete-game shutout of the Pirates at home on Sept. 30, lowering his ERA to 2.18.
He also led the league in starts (35) and innings (268) with a 1.01 WHIP.
The Cubs told him at the all-star break that he had a lot to prove, having never won 20 games or a Cy Young. He did both. They still shut the door on him.
25 With a Wins Above Replacement of 106.9 (Baseball-Reference), Maddux is 25th among all players in baseball history.
26 Maddux was 26 years old on Dec. 12, 1992, when he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves.
27 With a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.37, Maddux is 27th all time (minimum of 1,000 innings-pitched).
28 It took only $28 million over five years for the Braves to sign Maddux in December 1992, just $3 million more than the Cubs offered in December 1991. The Yankees offered $37 million.
29 The number of batters faced by Maddux on May 28, 1995, when the Braves beat the Astros 3-1 in a game that took 2:19.
Maddux allowed only 1 hit, a solo homer on an 0-2 pitch by Jeff Bagwell leading off the eighth inning. The Braves committed an error, and Maddux walked one. It was the closest he came to pitching a no-hitter.
30 Maddux made 30 postseason starts, including 27 for the Braves, 2 for the Cubs (1989) and 1 for the Dodgers (2006).
31 With 355 career victories, No. 31 is eighth in baseball history, 1 ahead of Roger Clemens.
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