Friday, July 17, 2009


That’s the number on the jersey that Greg Maddux wore when he was throwing a baseball like, I think, no one else ever did.

He quit throwing last year. The Cubs, his first team, retired his number in May. The Braves, his main team, retire his number tonight.

If you want to read stats, just type his name into Google News.

If you want to appreciate his genius, read Mark Bradley's column in today's AJC (sorry but Blogger, Word and whatever are not doing links these days).

Of my baseball watching lifetime, there’s just a few pitchers that compared for the best. Koufax, Ryan, Clemons (until recent revelations), Gibson and Maddux.

Of them, he was the nerd. Couldn’t throw a 90 mile an hour fast ball. But he could make a batter look stupid on a seventy something change up. Or, tell a teammate that the batter would ground to second on the third pitch of the at-bat.

Here in Atlanta, we had a surfeit of pitchers in the 90’s. Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Avery, Millwood and more. But, Maddux always mesmerized, never over-powered.

He left batters shaking their heads. What just happened? The answer to the question is you just grounded out to the best pitcher that ever played the game.

1 comment:

fermicat said...

We just watched the pre-game ceremony and shared fond memories of Maddux and the Braves that were... back in the day.