Baseball’s Hall of Fame Class of 2014 has a distinct Braves flavor, but there will be fewer Braves logos on the plaques than expected after the decision was made for Greg Maddux to go logo-less.
Maddux and former Braves teammate Tom Glavine will be inducted along with longtime manager Bobby Cox in the six-man class at the July 27 ceremony at Cooperstown, N.Y. Glavine and Cox will have Braves logos on the caps on their plaques, but the Hall of Fame announced Thursday that Maddux would have no logo because he had significant impact with multiple teams – the Braves and the Cubs.
Retired manager Tony La Russa also will have no logo on his Hall of Fame plaque for a similar reason, since he had success with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and St. Louis.
The Hall of Fame said it “suggests” to each inductee which logo or no logo to have on his cap. Maddux agreed with the no-logo stance. He said it was impossible for him to choose between the Braves and Cubs.
“I feel good about it,” he told reporters Thursday at a Texas Rangers pitching mini-camp (he’s a Rangers special assistant). “I spent half my career in Chicago and half my career in Atlanta. I came up a Cub, played there for six years and went back for three more. I was in Atlanta for 11 years. It comes out to about the same amount of time in both cities.
“Love both places. Obviously, I feel like I had more success as a Brave. We did get a World Series there. But I came up a Cub. For me, I couldn’t pick. I really couldn’t. Both places mean so much to me personally and my family.
“I’m going to go in as neutral, I guess.”
The two other members of the 2014 class will have logos on their caps: Frank Thomas (White Sox) and retired manager Joe Torre (Yankees).
Maddux had 133 wins, one Cy Young award and his one 20-win season with the Cubs, and a 194-88 record with three Cy Young Awards in 11 seasons with the Braves, with whom he also won his only World Series ring in 1995. He was drafted out of high school by the Cubs in 1984 and spent his first seven seasons with Chicago, winning the 1992 Cy Young Award before signing with the Braves as a free agent.
He returned to the Cubs for 2-1/2 more seasons after his long run with the Braves, then finished up with stints for the Dodgers and Padres during the last 2-1/2 seasons of his career, retiring after the 2008 season.
Maddux had 2,526 2/3 innings pitched for the Braves and 2,016 with the Cubs.
Maddux and Glavine combined for 660 major league wins including 445 wins as Braves, and became the first Hall of Famers in 40 years to spend most or all of their careers together and be elected by the BBWAA in the same year. The last to do it were the Yankees’ Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, who were elected in 1974.
Cox managed the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons and won the American League East title in 1985, but 25 of his 29 managerial seasons were spent in Atlanta, and he guided the Braves to an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles, six 100-win seasons, five National League pennants, and the World Series win in 1995.
“I was fortunate to manage 29 years in the major leagues in two wonderful cities in Toronto and Atlanta,” Cox said in a statement. “I can’t imagine two better places for me to spend my managerial career. With 25 of those years in Atlanta, my Hall of Fame election is a direct result of all the success of those great Braves teams that were assembled.”