Most fans and baseball writers surely expected Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux‘s plaque to feature an Atlanta Braves logo, the team with which he spent 11 seasons, won three Cy Young Awards, and captured the 1995 World Series.
But in a bit of surprise Maddux decided to go with no logo at all.
Here’s how he explained the decision:
“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves. It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”
Maddux’s decision was obviously as a surprise to some, but having spent a decade with the Cubs in his career, it isn’t all that shocking that the pitcher had conflicted feelings about which team to represent in Cooperstown.
It is a thoughtful & nuanced move from a pitcher who is widely thought of as the best “thinking man’s pitcher” the game has ever seen.
On a more personal note, Maddux will go down as one of my favorite players of all-time.
I have watched about a dozen no-no’s/perfect games over my life time but none of them will ever top his 76 pitch complete game shutout in July of 1997 (ironically enough, versus the Cubs).
He gave up 5 hits and only struckout 6 batters, but he was in complete control of the game, from start to finish, consistently missing the fat part of the bat and inducing weak ass grounder after weak ass grounder.
It was pure genius & I, for one, am glad that I was fortunate enough to witness it.
I mean, seriously?
Jeff Greenwell, over at The Last Angry Fan, put it best:
Seriously, it’s like the logo has come to life, and in a moment of shame and embarrassment, slowly started making it’s way over top the helmet to hide out in Wood’s luscious head of hair.
If the Cubs keep up their losing ways, and all signs point to that being an eventuality, expect all the Cubs logos, from their helmets and caps to jerseys and bullpen jackets, to seek refuge in the Witness Protection Program. Nobody would blame them if the players followed suit.