Tag Archives: greg maddux

1994 HEADLINE: Greg Maddux Wins Third Straight Cy Young Award

1994 HEADLINE: Greg Maddux Wins Third Straight Cy Young Award

On this day in 1994, Greg Maddux won his third straight Cy Young award.  He was the first pitcher in major league history to earn the award in three consecutive seasons.

Being one of the best pitchers in the sport over that length of time is a major accomplishment.  And when some of your greatest competition is coming from your teammates, I am sure that the pride of being the ‘Ace’ of the staff gave Maddux even more gratification.

Here is a look at Maddux’s numbers from those three seasons:

1992 – 20-11, 2.18 ERA, 9 complete games, All-Star, Gold Glove

1993 – 20-10, 2.36 ERA, 10 complete games, Gold Glove

1994 – 16-6, 1.56 ERA, 10 complete games, All-Star, Gold Glove

Oh, and it should be noted that Maddux went on to win the Cy Young award in 1995 too – setting an all-time record with four consecutive wins!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Maddux!!!

Happy Birthday Greg Maddux!!!

Happy Birthday Greg Maddux!!!

Greg Maddux turns 48 years old today.

Greg Maddux was the epitome of a hard-working pitcher.  His talent was immense and he often came across as a calm and relaxed guy.  But once Maddux took the mound, he was all about business and he excelled at a record pace.

After 23 seasons in the big leagues, Greg Maddux retired with 355 wins and 277 loses.  He has pitched over 5,000 innings during the course of his career while starting 740 games.  In his 23 seasons, Maddux threw 35 shutouts and pitched 109 complete games.

For his career, Maddux won 15 or more games in 18 of his 23 seasons; 17 of them being consecutive.  Maddux won 20 or more in 2 seasons.  He also eclipsed the 3,000 strikeout plateau with 3,371 career K’s.  His ERA at the end of his career was 3.16.

As a pitcher in the National League for the course of his career, Maddux had a career batting average of .171.  While considered to be a pretty good hitting-pitcher, Maddux hit 5 home runs and drove in 84 runs.  He has 272 hits, 103 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases to his credit.

Greg Maddux won 4 consecutive Cy Young Awards.  And in 9 straight seasons from 1992-1990, he placed in the Top 3 for the award 8 times.  Greg Maddux is an 8-time All-star and has won 18 Gold Gloves for his dominance as a defensive pitcher.

In his best season of 1995, Maddux went 19-2 while throwing 10 complete games and 3 shutouts.  In that season, his ERA was an amazing 1.63 and he struck out 181 batters while walking just 23.  In that year Maddux won his 4th and final Cy Young award, a Gold Glove, and was an All-star.

Greg Maddux was played in 3 World Series contests while winning 1 championship title.  In 1995 his Atlanta Braves were victorious.  Maddux started 2 games in that match-up as he won 1 game and lost 1 game.  In 16 innings of work, he struck out 8 batters and allowed 4 runs.

He is a member of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class.

Happy Birthday ‘Professor’!!

The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 16

The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 16

It has been a long time since I did one of these ‘Evolution’ posts, so I thought it would be a good time to get back and take a peek at my full collection with one single, solitary picture.

The growth of my collection over the last few months has stalled a bit as I have focused more time, energy, and funds into my modern player collections and the start of my 1975 Topps set build.

Still, while the growth in terms of size is not what it has been in the past, the growth of these player collections has been phenomenally fun!!

Between my Dustin Pedroia, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Fernandez, Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton collections, each has grown by leaps and bounds.  And while I never thought that I would truly get ‘into’ collecting modern players, I am happy about how rewarding this has been thus far.  And I look forward to seeing how much I can grow each of them in the coming collecting year.

Also, as you can see in the below picture, the three albums that I have dedicated to my Marlins teams sets have filled up nicely.  I don’t yet need to expand to a fourth album, but that may be my reality by the end of 2014.

Lastly, you will also see the binder I am using for my 1975 Topps set build in the lower right corner of the picture.  I have all of the pages pre-loaded, and I am trying to keep it as organized as possible so as I add new cards to my set, I can quickly drop them into the spots reserved for them.

Evolution

 

Next time around I will not wait this long to show of the full collection.  It has been too long and I truly enjoy keeping this process rolling as it is a nice way to celebrate the growth and progress of ’30-YOC’.

Oh, and someday soon I see my ‘Ultimate Dawson’ expanding to a fourth box…

Thanks for reading.  Have a nice night.

Million Dollar Question – What Is The Ultimate Greg Maddux Rookie Card?

Million Dollar Question – What Is The Ultimate Greg Maddux Rookie Card?

After the announcement of Greg Maddux’s election to the Baseball Hall Of Fame, I saw a pretty decent spike in the number of Greg Maddux related new listings on Ebay.  Surely, this was a move by the non-Maddux collector to take advantage and strike while Maddux’s name was once again highly relevant in the hobby.

This also made me smile as my Greg Maddux player collection was completed a few years ago and I would not have to sift through any price-gouging tactics in order to capture cards for my collection.

As you would expect, Maddux cards began to sell again at a pretty good pace. And the prices went from fair to overpriced to outrageous.

This got me to thinking ‘What Is The Ultimate Greg Maddux Rookie Card’?

So, that is tonight’s Million Dollar Question.

While there are not a ton of choices, there is a decent lot to choose from.

Here they are:

1987 Topps Traded

maddux 1987 topp

1987 Fleer Updated

maddux 1987 fleer update

1987 Donruss Rated Rookie

maddux 1987 rated rookie

1987 Donruss ‘The Rookies’

maddux 1987 the rookies

Not a bad crop of cards.  And I am happy to say that I own a copy of each in my collection.

But, which one is the ‘Ultimate One’?

Hmmm….  Decisions, decisions….

Amazingly, none of these Maddux cards made it to my ‘Fab 5’ when I completed my player collection a few years back.  The reason is simple – I don’t have too many memories of the shaggy haired pitcher with the weak mustache.  Instead, I recall the professor-esque looking guy with the business man’s haircut and slightly chubby face.

Back to the cards…  My favorite card among the four options is the Fleer Update card.  The colors from the 1987 Fleer design are very complementary to those of the Chicago Cubs.  And with the backdrop of a blurred Wrigley Field being present, the Maddux image has a nice 3-D effect happening.

So, my choice is the 1987 Fleer Update card!

maddux 1987 fleer update

And now it is your turn – What Is The Ultimate Greg Maddux Rookie Card?

Did You Know…

No player in major league history has earned more Gold Glove Awards than Greg Maddux.  During his 23-year big league career, Maddux won an unreal 18 Gold Glove Awards for his defensive excellence from the pitching mound.

greg maddux

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

From MLB.com

NEW YORK — One of the most majestic induction classes in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was set on Wednesday with the announcement that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected by eligible writers of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America the first time they were on the ballot, all of them by big margins.

On the ballot for the second time, Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros, did not get the necessary 75 percent, falling 0.2 percent shy of induction and missing by a scant two votes.

The newly elected trio will attend an 11 a.m. ET news conference on Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria New York that will be simulcast on MLB.com and MLB Network.

Also to be inducted in July are three of the greatest managers of all time — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — all selected by the Expansion Era Committee last month. They rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games.

The Braves trio of Maddux, Glavine and Cox will be front and center in this, the 75th anniversary of the museum, during the ceremony behind the Clark Sports Center on July 27.

“It’s very humbling to go in with these guys,” said Maddux, who combined with Glavine to win 660 games. “It’s just icing on the cake. It’s going to be a special day and I’m going to be able to share it with special people.”

Thomas — who batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox — is the first Hall of Famer to have played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. He appeared in 2,322 career games, with 1,351 coming as a DH and 971 at first base. Paul Molitor, who was elected in 2004, played more of his games as a DH than at any other position, but still just 44 percent of his total games played.

“This has been a stressful 48 hours. I am so excited that I’m in the Hall of Fame,” Thomas said. “This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out, because you can only dream so big, and this is as big as it gets for me. I’m a Georgia kid. Going in with Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox means a lot to me. The whole state of Georgia is going to be there, and I am just so blessed that I’ll be able to be there with these guys.”

 

That means six living members are heading toward one of the grandest Induction Weekends, from July 26-27, in Cooperstown, N.Y. The results of this year’s BBWAA vote were in stark contrast to that of last year, when the writers didn’t elect anyone.

Maddux and Glavine, a pair of 300-game winners who pitched the bulk of their careers for the Braves, were the favorites, but the 571 voters outdid themselves by also adding Thomas and coming so close on Biggio. It was the first time since 1999 — when Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan and George Brett were elected — that the writers put three first-time eligibles into the Hall.

Maddux, who won 355 games, the eighth-highest figure in Major League history, had 97.2 percent of the vote, failing to appear on 16 of the 571 ballots cast.

Glavine, who won 305 games, fourth-most among left-handers, was at 91.9 percent, and Thomas finished at 83.7.

Jack Morris, who won 254 games during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, didn’t make it in his 15th and final time on the writers’ ballot. He actually lost ground, falling to 61.5 percent from last year’s 67.7. Morris, who will be eligible for the Expansion Era Committee consideration in the fall of 2016, is only the second player in history to amass in excess of 60 percent of the vote at some point over his 15 years of eligibility and not make the Hall via the writers’ ballot. Gil Hodges is the other.

Maddux and Glavine are the only first-ballot pitchers to be elected together since Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson were part of the inaugural class of 1936 along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. They are the first living pair of 300-win pitchers to be elected in the same year and only the third pair in Hall of Fame history. The last starter to be elected by the BBWAA was Bert Blyleven in 2011, his 14th year of eligibility.

“It’s something I’m still trying to figure out how I feel,” Glavine said. “I’m just really humbled by the whole experience so far. I’m really excited about this whole process and this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it all. The opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame is one thing, but the opportunity to go in with two guys who were a very big part of my career means a lot to me.”

The Hall hasn’t inducted as many as six living baseball greats at the same time since 1971. Eleven were inducted in 1939, the year the red-brick museum opened its doors on Main Street, but they were from the first four classes, elected beginning in 1936. Last year, the three inductees elected by the Pre-Integration Committee — Yankees seminal owner Jacob Ruppert, catcher Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day — were all deceased.

Maddux also pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs and had brief stays with the Padres and Dodgers at the end of his career. Glavine spent 17 seasons with the Braves and five with the Mets, for whom he won his 300th game. Cox managed Atlanta for 25 seasons and the Blue Jays for four, finishing with the Braves in 2010. John Smoltz, the third prong for a decade in that Atlanta rotation and who played 20 of his 21 seasons with the Braves, is slated to be on the ballot for the first time next year and has a very good chance of joining the trio.

“It was obvious with me and Glav, because we both retired at the same time and the managers go in in a different way,” said Maddux about the chances of being inducted at the same time as Glavine and Cox. “As soon as Bobby got in, I knew it had a chance of it being very special. He was there for half of my career and taught me so much about the game. It was a special honor for me to work under Bobby and play half of my career with Glav as well. The only thing that split it up is that Smoltzy played one more year.”

The July 26 awards ceremony at Doubleday Field stands to be formidable as well, with former catcher and longtime TV announcer Joe Garagiola Sr. receiving the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, longtime magazine writer Roger Angell selected by the BBWAA as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for a career of meritorious baseball writing, and Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel earning the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — players whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second time since ’71.

Writers again rejected those players, with Piazza leading the pack at 62.2 percent, up from 58.7 percent last year. Clemens and Bonds had their percentages go down marginally to 35.4 and 34.7, respectively, but Sosa, who blasted 609 home runs and is the only player to have hit at least 60 homers in each of three seasons, slipped to 7.2 percent, barely remaining on the ballot.

Rafael Palmeiro, who failed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test in 2005, fell to 4.4 percent and was among 15 players to drop off the ballot. Palmeiro, with 569 homers and 3,020 hits, is one of only four players in history to amass both 500 homers and 3,000 hits. The other three are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.

A player must draw at least five percent of the vote each year to remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years.

Bonds is the all-time leader with 762 homers in his career and 73 in a single season. Clemens had 354 wins, one fewer than Maddux, and Piazza hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Maddux said Bonds was the toughest hitter he ever faced in his career, but hesitated to opine on his status. Thomas, always regarded as one of the clean players of the era, said he harbors no animosity.

“I don’t fault anyone, I don’t fault anyone for what they did,” Thomas said. “But I went about it the right way. It was more about my family teaching me the right things. When I look at their numbers, I go, “Wow!” but I think if I hadn’t been hurt for 3 1/2 years, my numbers would have been right up there with them.”

Biggio seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both suffer from extenuating circumstances, Palmeiro having failed a drug test and Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

In a statement, Biggio said he was disappointed to not get in, tying Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of missing election in balloting history. But history is on his side. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot when he fell two votes shy and was subsequently elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

“Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas,” Biggio said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”

Biggio went from 68.2 percent in 2013 to 74.8 percent this year, right on the cusp.

“As surprised as I was last year that he didn’t get in, you almost feel heartbroken this year to be as close as he was,” Glavine said. “Craig was a tremendous competitor and had the respect of all of us who played against him. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s in the Hall of Fame. I’m sure he’s disappointed today, having come so close, but I’m extremely confident that someday we’re going to watch him go through the same process.”

Glavine Maddux Thomas

Players & Picks For The ‘Greg Maddux Hall Of Fame Contest’

Players & Picks For The ‘Greg Maddux Hall Of Fame Contest’

Well friends, we are just a few hours away from the Baseball Hall of Fame announcing who has been elected to represent the Class of 2014.

And with that announcement, we will also have a winner for my contest.

Again, the player coming closest to the actual percentage of votes that Greg Maddux receives, without going over, will be the winner.

Here are the players:

Player Pick
irondequoit36 85.4
unclemoe 88.0
eric 91.0
BamattyP 91.7
gerad 92
pancuco 92.1
jared w 92.7
fuji 93.2
play at the plate 93.9
jeff p 94.2
scott o 94.6
scott 95.2
rich 95.3
spiegel 95.5
adam 95.8
john h 96.0
30-YOC** 96.1
q 96.4
ron 96.8
mgrlr 97.1
jeff 97.2
kelly 97.3
henry 97.6
defgav 97.8
matt w 98
nick 98.2
rob 98.3
ryan 98.6
jt 98.8
zebulon 98.8
charley8 99.2
wrigley regular 99.2
tom s 99.8
matt d 99.9
hackenbush 100.0

You’ll see that I put my name into the hat at 96.1%.  My vote does not count, but I could not resist playing – this was fun!

And here is one more look at the prize:

Maddux Contest

Good luck everyone.  And good luck to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, and the other possible electees.

CONTEST TIME: Predict the Percentage Of HOF Votes Greg Maddux Gets And Win!!!

CONTEST TIME: Predict the Percentage Of HOF Votes Greg Maddux Gets And Win!!!

Alright guys and girls, welcome to the first contest of the year at ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

And this one is going to be a blast, I promise!

Early next week, the Hall of Fame is going to announce the results of their ballot for the Class of 2014.  And while nothing is an absolute certainty, it is a very safe bet that Greg Maddux will be elected to Cooperstown on his first ballot.

Maddux, considered the finest pitcher of his era, has the credentials to match many of the sport’s greatest pitchers and he deserves to be selected as the ‘lead player’ to be enshrined into the class of 2014.

But, how many votes will he get?  What percentage of the voters will choose him?

Care to guess?  I hope so, because that is what this contest is all about – Predict the Percentage of HOF Votes Greg Maddux Gets And Win!!!

To enter this contest, submit your number into the comments section of this post.  All entries must contain a decimal, so if you think is going to get 100% of the vote, you must submit 100.0 as your number.  And if you think he is going to nab 95.5% of the vote, you must submit 95.5.  It’s that simple.  Also, once a number is chosen, it cannot be taken again so choose wisely and quickly.

The person whose number is closest to Maddux’s actual tally, without going over, will win.

The prize?

Greg Maddux baseball cards, of course!!  Have a look:

Maddux Contest

Sound like fun?  Great, let’s play.  Submit your number into the comments section of this post and let’s go!!

I will keep the entry window for this contest open until Tuesday night at 9:00PM EST.  And I will post the final list of the players and their picks on Wednesday morning.

Good Luck to all!!

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Greg Maddux

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Greg Maddux

The 2013 Topps Update baseball card set includes a subset tagged as ‘Postseason Heroes.  And with that theme, you would expect to find cards of modern players like Albert Pujols, Edgar Renteria, and Pablo Sandoval but none of these guys made the checklist.

That does leave room for some nice surprises…

This is the card of Greg Maddux from the set:

img421

In 23 big league seasons, Greg Maddux made it to 13 postseasons.  He competed in 9 NLCS match-ups, and 3 World Series’.  Maddux compiled a record of 11-14 in the postseason and went just 2-3 in World Series play.

Of his three World Series championships, he won a single title – in 1995.

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

From MLB.com

The induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., next July 28 could have a real Atlanta Braves flavor to it.

Former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, each a 300-game winner, head a ballot stacked with superstar newcomers that will be studied by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the next month. The results of the election for 2014 induction will be announced at 2 pm ET on Jan. 8 on MLB.com and MLB Network, with a news conference at the Waldorf Astoria New York the next day to introduce any elected players.

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox is already among 12 men — including four all-time great managers — on the recently released ballot handed to the Expansion Era Committee, which will announce its determination on Dec. 9 during the first day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Billy Martin are also on that ballot.

Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina join Maddux and Glavine as other noteworthy first timers, making this one of the deepest BBWAA ballots in Hall of Fame history. Jack Morris, with 254 victories during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, is on the writers ballot for the 15th and final time. Former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, who led last year’s voting by being named on 68.2 percent of the ballots cast, returns for a second try.

Maddux and Glavine, who combined to win 660 games, seem to have the edge.

“It should be without a doubt for either one of them [to be elected], especially with Greg,” said John Smoltz, who joined Maddux and Glavine to form the “Big Three” of the Braves’ rotation for a decade and will be on the ballot himself next year.

“I know there’s been no unanimous [electee] in the history to the Hall of Fame, but I think [Maddux] would be it if there is. I’m biased. I watched Greg and Tom pitch my whole career, basically. They exemplified the fact that over 162 games, they were better than anybody else in the league.”

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — hitters whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second since 1971.

Chances are good a shutout won’t happen again this time. Maddux retired with 355 wins, 194 of them in l1 years with the Braves. Glavine had 305 victories, 244 in 17 years for Atlanta. Three hundred wins, like 3,000 hits, has long been a clear benchmark for eventually gaining entrance to the hallowed Hall. Biggio amassed 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros.

As in all Hall ballots, candidates need at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected.

Other first-timers also have fine credentials. Thomas, a first baseman and designated hitter, batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox. Kent hit 377 homers in 17 seasons for six teams, 351 of them as a second baseman — the most in history by anyone at that position. Mussina won 270 games and had a 3.68 ERA in 18 seasons with the Orioles and Yankees.

Add to all this the fact that Cox, during his 25 years managing the Braves, had 1,709 of his 2,001 career victories, plus 15 playoff appearances — including 14 division titles, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series championship.

“I’m confident at some point in time it’s going to happen,” Glavine said about his Hall of Fame chances. “Whether it’s on the first ballot, I don’t know. We’ll see. There are a lot of good players eligible. Would I love to have it happen on the first ballot? Sure. If it doesn’t, I’d be disappointed. But we’ll gear up for the following year and hopefully it will happen the following year.”

Biggio fell 39 votes shy of election on the 2013 ballot, as he received 388 votes among the 569 ballots cast. Five of those ballots were left blank. He was followed by Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6) and Piazza (57.8). Piazza, it should be noted, hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Bonds, the all-time home run leader with 762, garnered 36.2 percent of the vote. Clemens, a storied right-hander with 354 wins, did slightly better at 37.6 percent. Sosa, the only slugger to bash more than 60 homers in three different seasons, totaling 609 in his career, had 12.5 percent.

None of the three ever failed a publicly disclosed Major League Baseball-administered drug test, but all of them were once involved in either court cases or congressional hearings about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds is fighting a felony conviction for obstruction of justice in an appellate court regarding grand jury testimony. Clemens was acquitted of perjury for statements he made at a congressional hearing, and Sosa was called before another congressional hearing to testify.

“For a couple of years now, I think the whole steroids thing has put a twist in it,” said Morris, who needs 42 more votes to make it this time or he can be considered again in three years for the Expansion Era ballot. “A bunch of us guys have been thrown under the bus because they didn’t know what to do with the other pile. That’s unfortunate. It is what it is and I’m not going to fix it.”

Morris, who had an American League-best 162 of wins in the 1980s, tops a list of deserving long-time returnees that includes, among others, Bagwell, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Edgar Martinez.

Among the second-timers, Biggio still seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both have extenuating circumstances. Rafael Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 569 homers but was suspended for a positive PED test in 2005, his last season in the Major Leagues. Most recently, Palmeiro was on 8.8 percent of the ballots. Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

Clearly, though, Glavine and Maddux have the inside track. Both were crafty pitchers who were not overpowering but knew how to work both sides of the plate. In their decade together on the Braves from 1993 to 2002, before Glavine left to spend five seasons with the Mets, Atlanta went to the playoffs every season except for 1994, when the postseason was cancelled because of a players strike.

Maddux stayed until 2003, when he returned to the Cubs just the way he left Chicago for Atlanta — as a free agent. Maddux played 10 seasons in Chicago, including his first seven, finishing his career in 2008 after one short tour in San Diego and two stops in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

Both were picked in the second round of the 1984 First-Year Player Draft and became mainstays of their improving teams. Maddux won 133 games for the Cubs. Glavine was a home-grown member of the Braves, and he returned to finish his career with Atlanta, getting his last two wins during 13 starts with the Braves in 2008.

Now, both of them are on the brink of immortality.

“When I retired, there was that talk of being a future Hall of Famer or whatever,” Glavine said. “Then I think as time went on, it became more a part of the conversation, whether it be every January, or as the calendar clicked closer and closer. Last year, there was a little more talk.

“Now that I’m officially on the ballot, there has been an increase in the conversation. So I think it comes in stages. When I first retired, I knew it was out there. But five years seemed like it was so far away. So in that respect, it’s hard to believe five years have gone by already.”

The remainder of the ballot consists of Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Hideo Nomo, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Kenny Rogers, Curt Schilling, Richie Sexson, Lee Smith, Mike Timlin, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.