Friday, July 26, 2013

Maddux Joins 3000-Strikeout Club

On July 26, 2005 that Greg Maddux became the thirteenth member of the 3000-strikeout club.  Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel in front of his home crowd at Wrigley Field, however, the Cubs would go on to lose the game 3-2 to the Giants.

Greg Maddux enjoyed an incredible career that started in Chicago as a member of the Cubs.  After winning the CY Young award in 1992, Maddux left Chicago via free agency and joined the Atlanta Braves.  He would go on to win the Cy Young his first three seasons with the Braves, becoming the first pitcher in history to win the award four consecutive times.  In addition to his four Cy Young’s, Maddux was an 18 time Gold Glove winner, eight time All-Star selection and a member of the 1995 World Series championship Atlanta Braves.

Maddux would finish his career with 3,371 strikeouts ranking him 10 all-time for most strikeouts in the Major Leagues.

The list of 3000 strikeout pitchers includes in this order from most to least, Nolan Ryan, 5,714, Randy Johnson, 4,875, Roger Clemens, 4,672, Steve Carlton, 4,136, Bert Blyleven, 3,701, Tom Seaver, 3,640, Don Sutton, 3,574, Gaylord Perry, 3,534, Walter Johnson, 3,509, Greg Maddux, 3,371, Phil Niekro, 3,342, Ferguson Jenkins, 3,192, Pedro Martinez, 3,154, Bob Gibson, 3,117, Curt Schilling, 3,116 and John Smoltz, 3,084.
Smoltz was a teammate of Maddux from 1993-2003 on the Braves in which they were part of the ‘Big Three’, which included Maddux, Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
Also to note is that the Braves had three members on the 3,000 strikeout club, with Maddux, Niekro and Smoltz, even though none of the three who are on the list got there 3,000 strikeout in a Braves jersey.
The 3,000-strikeout club might become more elusive as the closest pitcher to the feat is 47-year-old Jamie Moyer. Moyer is the active leader in strikeouts with 2,405 but is currently a free agent after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays AAA affiliate. Because of this Moyer will most likely not reach 3,000, and with the way the game has changed in recent years, one wonders if we will ever see another pitcher join the elusive 3,000 strikeout club.