The Greatness of Greg Maddux

When I was younger, my favorite sport by a fair margin was baseball. Partially for the fact that I saw people with my Barney the Dinosaur-esque physique succeeding at it while every other sport was full of hulking Adonis-es, and partially because no human could resist the pure perfection of Ken Griffey, Jr’s swing.

Seriously, look at that and try not to love baseball.

Along with Griffey, my two other favorite players growing up were Cal Ripken, Jr and Greg Maddux. With Nolan Ryan as a close runner-up, both for his strikeouts and his striking.

This year, Greg Maddux was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and, if it weren’t for some dingus who votes against everyone who “played in the PED (performance-enhancing drug) era” of the game, Maddux would have been inducted by a unanimous vote. Never mind that, without exaggeration, this sort of philosophy throws the whole nature of our human experiment with democracy into question in ways that would give Putin nocturnal emissions. This whole pony show is worth it, because it gives us a chance to re-examine and celebrate just how great of a pitcher Greg Maddux was during his time in the league, such as in this article from FanGraph:

But maybe the greatest thing about Greg Maddux wasn’t any of these accomplishments, but instead, how he did it. Unlike Randy Johnson, he didn’t look like a super hero who threw 100 mph. He looked like one of us. He was 6’0, wore glasses, and dominated with pitches that didn’t look like they should dominate. In an era of oversized athletes and outsized personalities, Maddux was just a guy doing his thing and embarrassing everyone else in the process.

Read more about the Hall of Fame voting controversy here (SI.com), and read about the other controversy, where a voter sold their ballot to sports site Deadspin here (Deadspin.com)

Original Article: The Greatness of Greg Maddux (FanGraphs)