Friday, December 05, 2008

Farewell, #31

It is with some sadness that the Thinker waves goodbye to the best pitcher I've ever seen, twice-former Cub Greg Maddux, who is announcing his retirement after 21 years in major league baseball. There are two of us on this blog who, when chatting sports, use "Maddux" as part of our moniker, and I know I'm not the only one here who will miss watching him pitch. Even during his exile in Atlanta (okay, he piled up some rather extraordinary numbers in exile), my dad and I used to sit down and watch him every fifth day, because his outings were unlike any others. When he was at his best, hitters just were overmatched, not by staggering physical talent, but because he was so good at so many things that his arsenal of pitches just went beyond anything they could cope with.

Five years from now, his name will come up for a vote for the MLB Hall of Fame. He'll get in, on the first ballot, and by a large margin. Of course, he won't be unanimous, because no one ever is. The BBWAA is comprised, sadly, of too many morons of the sort who cannot abide greatness and must always find fault. They can go screw themselves.

Someday, if the Cubs are smart, they'll bring Maddux and Fergie Jenkins back and finally retire #31. Maddux won't seek the spotlight, but it is his.


Rousing Rabble said...

He is the greatest pitcher I have ever seen - Period. He is likely the greatest pitcher I will ever see.

From the other side of town said...

While never a rooting fan of a team he was actively pitching for, one has to acknowledge both his skill and grace as a pitcher. Even if rooting against him, you had to admire his skill and ability to put pitches where he wanted them to be. It wasn't just the physical but the mental as well, and he was an above average fielder for his position.

He will easily be remembered as one of the greats.