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Maddux Near-Unanimous HOF Pick

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2002, file photo, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Greg Maddux delivers to a Florida Marlins batter in the first inning of a baseballl game at Turner Field in Atlanta. Mad Dog and Glav were fixtures in the Atlanta Braves rotation for years, and now they await word on another possible honor that will keep them together: induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser, File)

    There was never any doubt that Greg Maddux would be inducted to the Hall of Fame this year — his first year of eligibility — the only question was whether he'd be a unanimous choice.

    Turns out, he wasn't because of the pompous nature of the Hall of Fame voting, but he was pretty darn close, garnering nearly 99 percent of the vote, well above the 75 percent that's required for induction. He's joined in this year's class by his former teammate Tom Glavine and slugger Frank Thomas.

    Of course, Maddux is best known for his exploits on the mound, most notably with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He won four straight Cy Young awards and finished in the top 3 of the voting seven times in his career. He led the league in ERA four times, wins three times, shutouts five times and won 18 gold gloves, including 13 straight.

    In other words, he was a pitching jedi.

    Of course, now, he's known around these parts as being the special assistant to the GM for the Texas Rangers and as the brother of Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. He's undoubtedly had an impact on the Rangers' pitchers as a regular at spring training, and now he'll forever be remembered as one of the best to ever play the game.