Chicks Dig The Long…Career
Posted by Matt on April 15, 2008
Editor’s Note: Discuss this article NOW over at ACC vs. SEC! – Chicks Dig The Long…Career
The now-42-year-old Greg Maddux won his 349th game on Sunday — a day before his birthday — in a 5.0 inning outing against his former hotel stop, the Los Angeles Dodgers. I admittedly couldn’t stand Maddux when he was an Atlanta Brave and, to be truthful, I couldn’t so much as stand John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery or, well, any of the Braves either during their run of domination in the 1990s and early 2000s.
But I will also admit that the longer a player most pundits describe as a “class act” continues to perform at high levels in years long after he should be able to, the more I tend to like and respect that player. I think this is the case for most other sports fans and is best outlined most recently with the Brett Favre Love Fest this past NFL season. Most people — myself included — want to see just how long a particular player can continue on at a successful and high professional level past the 40-year-old plateau.
What is more remarkable about Maddux, however, is that he has been taking care of business with unparalleled consistency and durability since 1988, his third year in the league after entering as a rookie in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs, and with a fastball that only tops out around 47 MPH. The “Chicks Dig The Long Ball” commercial for Nike may have vaulted Maddux in to mainstream baseball popularity and 349 wins is an impressive feat, but a quit look at his season-by-season statistics tell the real story:
21 consecutive seasons with 25, or more, starts. 20 consecutive seasons with 198, or more, innings pitched. 20 consecutive seasons with 14, or more, wins. 14 total seasons with an ERA at, or below, 3.50. And all of this while sporting a career winning percentage of .620 with four different teams.
That is durability, that is consistency, and that is longevity.
Greg Maddux may very well be the greatest pitcher of my lifetime and he has acquired this designation without over powering size or power, but with unmatched control and a cerebral approach to the game of baseball. Maddux is a man among boys on the baseball mound in what has come to be known as “the steroid era” in Major League Baseball and all in a frame barely six feet tall and barely 170 pounds.
Greg Maddux’s career is simply amazing and though chicks may in fact dig the long ball, they also dig the long career.
This entry was posted on April 15, 2008 at 10:32 AM and is filed under MLB. Tagged: AUTHOR:MJ. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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