Hopefully, fans of the Chicago Cubs will appreciate the statement Greg Maddux made Thursday, saying he will enter baseball's Hall of Fame without a logo on his plaque. It might be the nicest thing anyone has ever done for the Cubs.
Conversely, the likeness of former teammate Tom Glavine will wear an Atlanta Braves cap when his plaque is revealed at Cooperstown next summer. The same goes for manager Bobby Cox. Although three of Maddux's four Cy Young seasons came with the Braves, and most of his fame accumulated away from the Cubs, he pitched almost as long in Chicago as he did in Atlanta. Eleven seasons to 10, and 363 starts to 298. A lot closer than most fans (perhaps even some Cubs and Braves fans) would have guessed.
Tony La Russa also is being inducted as a manager and, like Maddux, he won't have a logo on his plaque's cap. La Russa spent significant time with the Cardinals, A's and White Sox. Joe Torre says his image will have a Yankees logo. Slugger Frank Thomas will go to the Hall with a White Sox cap.
What does Maddux have to say for himself?
Greg Maddux will not have logo on his Hall plaque. He's glad about it. "For me, I couldn’t pick. Both places (Chi, ATL) mean so much to me."
— Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett) January 23, 2014
Maddux broke into the majors with the Cubs in 1986 at age 20 and stayed with them until the 1992 season, after which he hit free agency. What happened next always will be a bone of contention, but it was reported that Cubs president Stanton Cook botched the Maddux negotiations. Maddux was about to sign with the Yankees, who had offered the most money, until the Braves came in with a competitive offer. Maddux still wanted to stay with the Cubs, but they never responded. Maddux went on to Atlanta, becoming one of the best pitchers of any generation. But he played enough with the Cubs that the Hall of Fame didn't ignore his request — which it has done in other cases — to go without a logo.
HOF prez Jeff Idelson: “For those whose careers were built significantly among multiple teams, not having team logo is equally acceptable.” — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 23, 2014
Check out what all of the Hall inductees say about their logo choices.
Maddux's gesture toward the Cubs, and their fans, shouldn't be taken lightly. The Braves and their fans are going to have hurt feelings; hopefully they pass. Maddux, Glavine and manager Bobby Cox are still going to get a lot of well-deserved publicity for the Braves this summer. And it's not like anyone is ever going to forget that Maddux pitched for the Braves.
It's jusy, by going in with a blank cap, Maddux is making sure the Cubs aren't forgotten, either.
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