Greg Maddux Makes Gold Happen – Beckett Pricing Insider
This edition of the Beckett Pricing Insider is sponsored by MVP Sports Collectibles.
Greg Maddux was known for his masterful control on the mound and his ability to outwit his opponents. This allowed him to have a lengthy career where he would have many deep outings with low pitch counts.
But on November 6, 2007, Maddux broke a different kind of record when he was awarded with his 17th Rawlings Gold Glove Award, the most of any player at any position. He would add another Gold Glove in 2008, finishing his career with 18. Other than 2003, Maddux won the award every year from 1990 to 2008.
Maddux was born in Texas but grew up as a military kid. He spent a lot of his early years in Spain and then would go to high school in Las Vegas. It was there that Maddux trained an old scout named Ralph Meder who would stress the importance of control and movement rather than speed. This clearly stuck with Maddux.
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of the 1984 Draft, Maddux would make his debut in late 1986. He struggled his first year in 1987 but then his talents really started to show the next year. By 1989, he was one of his team’s best pitchers. Maddux would go on to win 20 games in 1992 and win the first of his four-straight NL Cy Young Awards.
But that first Cy Young would be his only with the Cubs. After stalemates in contract negotiations with the Cubs, Maddux signed a five-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. Maddux, along with John Smoltz and Tom Glavine would triple up to make one of the best pitching staffs in the history of the game.
Every year Maddux was a member of the Braves, they were division champions and made the playoffs. He was able to help them make it to three World Series, winning the title in 1995.
Maddux played in Atlanta until the end of 2003 and he would return to the Cubs in 2004 where he spent the next two-and-a-half years. During this time he was able to earn his 300th career win, as well as join the 3,000 strikeout club.
In 2006, the Cubs traded Maddux to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would help them earn a spot in the playoffs but they were eliminated in the first round.
Maddux, again a free agent after 2006, signed with the Padres and would spend the 2007 and most of the 2008 seasons there. He was traded back to the Dodgers in August, 2008, again helping the Dodgers but they were again eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. He would announce his retirement during the offseason.
With over 13,000 cards currently in the Beckett OPG, you have a lot to choose from.
One favorite of mine is his first card, 1986 Pittsfield Cubs Procards, featuring him when he was playing for the Double-A Cubs minor league affiliate in Massachusetts. A raw version of this card sells for anywhere from $35 to $75. But raw versions of this card are somewhat hard to find as many of these cards have been graded. Graded Gem Mint copies have been selling from around $250 all the way to $500.
Maddux was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot as part of the 2014 class. His jersey #31 has been retired by both the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs (Fergie Jenkins’ #31 was also honored by the Cubs). Since his retirement, Maddux has remained close to the game and has served as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Cubs, the Rangers and the Dodgers.
He is currently a Volunteer Assistant serving as the Pitching Coach for the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) baseball team, where his son, Chase, is a Junior Pitcher.