Greg Maddux sometimes was referred to as "The Professor" on the mound because of the academic-looking way he went about shutting down lineups. He also tended to be dry when giving interviews. Conservative. There was a personality in there, he just didn't let it out frequently. So to speak.
Lest the world continue to be ignorant of his complete nature, Maddux tried cracking a flatulence joke during his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday afternoon. It didn't go over great, as jokes go, but it's still funny because it's Greg Maddux trying to be mildly shocking to a relatively staid crowd of perhaps 48,000 at Cooperstown. Here it is:
My brother, Mike, led by example. Everything I was about to do on and off the field, he had already done. I was very fortunate to have a brother that I could learn from. He even taught me a little bit about science. It has to do with a little methane and a lighter, and I still get a huge kick out of it today. (Laughter.) That's funny, huh? OK.
What a gas! As you can tell from the video, Maddux botches a word or two in the delivery, the kind of mistake that can ruin even funny jokes. But he had earned too much goodwill from the audience to have former manager Bobby Cox give him the hook by the sixth paragraph of his speech.
Overall, Maddux's speech was sound. Quick (10 minutes) and efficient, wasting little — just like his best complete games.
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