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08/11/2004 Archived Entry: "MLB news: Maddux wins No. 300"
Maddux joins 300 club
By Michael Toeset
It was only a matter of time before this generation’s greatest pitcher reached 300 wins.
And on Aug. 7, GREG MADDUX signed his own Hall of Fame admission papers by becoming only the 22nd pitcher in the history of the game to reach the hallowed 300 mark.
Maddux joined an elite list of hurlers peppered with names like Ryan, Young, Mathewson, Spahn, Johnson, Carlton and Clemens in his 23rd start of the season. His record stands at only 11-7, but the 38-year-old Maddux is pitching nearly as good as he did in his prime, as witnessed by his 3.99 ERA and only 23 walks. He may begrudge Cubs hitters a bit for the lack of run support, but this season has been a happy homecoming for Maddux, who won his first 95 games and established himself as one of the greatest pitchers in the game while wearing Cubbie blue.
Maddux’s earliest years are forgettable – his cup of coffee in 1986 and his first full season in 1987 are the only seasons in which the righty has registered an ERA over 4.00 – but the seasons following those are forever etched in the memories of Chicago’s North Siders. Maddux became an ace in 1988 by winning 18 games and recording an ERA of 3.19. The next season, he had 19 wins, and in his last year as a Cub, 1992, he reached the magical 20 mark.
But it wasn’t until Maddux’s second season in the South that he became a pitcher who rightly deserved to be mentioned in the same sentence as Cy Young, Walter Johnson and company; in 1994, Maddux went 16-6 with 10 complete games, 3 shutouts, had a 1.56 ERA, walked only 31 batters all season and had a fantastic 0.90 WHIP. Maddux had truly arrived, and the next season, he somehow did even better: 19-2, 1.63 ERA, 23 walks and an unbelievable 0.81 WHIP. The baseball world was witnessing the birth of a legend.
Over the years Maddux has done nothing to tarnish his Hall of Fame resume; the man has won 15 or more games for 16 straight seasons, for crying out loud. And it is with awe and respect that we here at Baseballguru.com salute Maddux on his milestone. The bespectacled righty may be the last 300-game winner baseball will ever see. So enjoy watching a master at work while you can, and take a moment to ponder his record over the years:
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