Greg Maddux, who had good-to-great years with the Cubs and fantastic years with the Atlanta Braves, will not have either team's logo on his Hall of Fame plaque. Here are the details from Houston Chronicle sportswriter Jose de Jesus Ortiz:
Greg Maddux's HOF plaque will have no logo. Neither will Tony La Russa's. Joe Torre will have a Yankees logo. Glavine will have Braves logo.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) January 23, 2014
Maddux: "My wife Kathy & I grew up in baseball in Chicago & then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves."— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) January 23, 2014
"It's impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque," Maddux said.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) January 23, 2014
"I can't think of having my ... induction without support of both of those fan bases," Maddux said.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) January 23, 2014
"So, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo," Maddux said.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) January 23, 2014
Not just because I'm a fan of Maddux, and a Cubs fan, but because I think this could set a good precedent going forward, I'm very pleased with Maddux' decision. Hall of Fame induction is supposed to celebrate the player's entire career, not just that with a single team. There are many Hall of Famers who had great years with multiple teams (Nolan Ryan, Carlton Fisk, Tom Seaver, Gaylord Perry, just to name a few off the top of my head), and the plaque lists all the teams the player played for.
In exchanging tweets with some other writers today, the replies were in the general tone of "the precedent's been set." Well, sure... but does that mean it has to be that way forever? The Hall of Fame, obviously, doesn't like change. At times it seems the hall fears change.
But maybe this choice will open a dialogue. We can hope so, anyway. And at least for Cubs fans, we can feel honored that Maddux himself felt strongly enough about his time in Chicago that he didn't want to shut us out.