Taking a timeout for baseball

I’m well aware that most people who like sports are all into the NCAA Basketball Tournament right now. I’m following from a distance, but I am quite excited about baseball season opening on March 29.

On my Facebook page, I’ve been featuring my person Top 15 Players of all time. The rules are that the players have to have played during my lifetime, I had to have seen them on TV, and they couldn’t be users of Perfomance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). These players are my favorites, not necessarily a countdown of the greatest.

The great thing about lists like these is the room to disagree. Feel free to comment if you like or don’t like what I’m laying down here. I’ll spare you chocies 12-15, but they are on my Facebook page if you want to see.

The first one here is #11, Greg Maddux.

The stats by themselves are crazy for Maddux: 355 wins, 3,371 strikeouts, 3.16 ERA (during the PED Era), 4 Cy Young Awards, 4 ERA titles, a World Series and 8 All-Star teams. I think a lot of fans don’t realize he won 18 Gold Gloves in 23 years.

He did all that with a fastball that was said could only break 89-90 mph on a good day. Maddux was smart and tenacious and competitive, and it was fun to watch him pitch. He wasn’t nicknamed “Bulldog” for nothing. Those Braves teams of the late 90s were great and it is amazing they only got one World Series, especially considering how many Hall of Famers they had.

The Braves have been my NL team almost as long as I’ve been a Red Sox fan. I loved it when Maddux came over and it didn’t seem right after he left. For most of my lifetime, the Durham Bulls were affiliated with the Braves, and it almost seems illegal around this part of NC to not be at least a sympathizer of Atlanta.