Valdosta Daily Times

Z_CNHI News Service

January 9, 2014

Baseball fans got a treat when Maddux came to town

(Continued)

There wasn’t much doubt that Maddux would be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. When the tabulation was completed, he was named on 555 of 571 ballots. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting.

Glavine, his teammate in Atlanta, drew just under 92 percent of the vote, and Thomas polled almost 84 percent. All three were well above the 75 percent needed for election.

While there was reason to cheer the election of three players following last year’s vote, in which none was selected, the dispute raged about how to judge some of the game’s biggest stars who played during the Steroid Era.

Who can suggest that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds weren’t great players? Whether their careers were enhanced or extended by drug use is debatable. Whether they'd established themselves as all-time greats before that drug use isn’t.

To a degree the same can be said about Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, though their single-season home run records remain tainted beyond defense.

Clemens saw his support for election into the Hall of Fall slip from 37.6 percent last year to 35.4 percent in the most recent vote. It was the same for Bonds, who slid from 36.2 percent to 34.7 percent.

Baseball faces a dilemma it can’t resolve. Instead of casting votes that separate the greats from the near greats, the writers have to weigh a moral question concerning unfair advantage. That’s a difficult position.

Such was not the case with Maddux, who some thought should be the first player to get a 100 percent approval rating. Not even Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Ted Williams did that.

Maddux’s achievements were significant. He made the All-Star team eight times. On four occasions he won the Cy Young Award, twice unanimously, as the league’s top pitcher.

What I will always remember is a guy pitching for a down-and-out team on a summer's day in 2008 and befuddling the Reds. Even in the last months of his career, Maddux was a pro who knew nothing but to give his best. And he didn’t need drugs to do it.

Tom Lindley is a CNHI sports columnist. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results