You may have read my post about former Peoria Chiefs pitcher Greg Maddux’s election to the Baseball Hall of Fame already — if not, click here to read it — but I have more for you to read about Mad Dog today.
First, here is my favorite thing about Maddux’s Peoria days that I found on the Internet yesterday: a scouting report by Duffy Dyer* in 1985, the season when Maddux went 13-9 with a 3.19 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 186 IP for the Chiefs. (Source: Dugout Legends)
The scouting report says this about Maddux: “Small: Good arm: Ran out of gas: Did not pitch good last 1/3 of season.”
Want to read more early scouting reports on Maddux? Check out this one and this one from his high school days. (Source: Sports Illustrated) A quote from one of them:
“I really believe that this boy would possibly be the number 1 player taken in the country if only he looked a bit more physical.”
Clearly that scout saw Maddux’s potential, but again, the future Hall-of-Famer’s small frame was believed to be a hindrance.
The attitude toward Maddux’s long-term career prospects apparently improved in 1986 after he ended the season going 10-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 128.1 IP for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. In this scouting report posted at Diamond Mines, longtime Chicago White Sox scout Larry Monroe wrote:
“He’s gonna be a good one. 88 fastball tails when up and sinks when down. Pitches inside very well, and good command. Good curveball but needs more consistent bite. Change only fair and doesn’t have command of it. Needs 1 year more for work on curveball and change, but very good potential to be a consistent winning starter.”
Obviously Maddux figured out how to be a consistent winner; after four Triple-A starts in 1987, he never pitched in the minor leagues again, and racked up 355 wins with a 3.16 ERA and 3,371 strikeouts in 5,008.1 IP for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. And those are just his peripheral numbers! Take a good look at Maddux’s player page on Baseball-Reference.com and you’ll get an even better, more nuanced appreciation for how dominant the four-time Cy Young Award winner was during his career.
Of course, there is lots more to read about Maddux right now, so here is a list of links to a few articles I think are worth reading:
Maddux destined for the Hall — Kevin Capie, Chiefs beat writer for the Journal Star, talked to Colorado Rockies pitching coach Jim Wright, who was Maddux’s pitching coach with the Chiefs.
Road to Cooperstown started in Minors — This MiLB.com article by Sam Dykstra focuses on the minor-league roots of Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. Maddux mentions Wright in it.
Rattlers’ Erickson recalls brush with Maddux — In this column, Jim Olski provides another Midwest League connection to Maddux. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson went 1-for-6 in the major leagues. His lone hit came off Maddux!
Facing Greg Maddux a real nightmare — So what was it like facing Maddux? Former big-leaguer Doug Glanville tells us in this ESPN column.
And here is one last connection between Maddux and the Midwest League, tying into the first scouting report I mentioned in this post:
*Duffy Dyer managed the Midwest League’s Kenosha Twins in 1984-85. Kenosha won the Midwest League Championship Series in 1985, beating Peoria three games to one. Dyer was named Midwest League Manager of the Year that season. After a couple years out of baseball, he returns this year as manager of the Kenosha Kingfish, a new Northwoods League team.
A couple links to Kenosha News stories about Dyer and the Kenosha Kingfish, for those interested:
Kenosha Kingfish hook fans at Simmons Field event
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