When Nolan Ryan stepped down as CEO of the Texas Rangers following the 2013 season, the Rangers lost one of their pitching masterminds that has helped turned the Rangers from a club that no one wanted to pitch for to one of the best pitching staffs in baseball over the last five years.
But there's still one more pitching godfather in the organization, and he's joining Ryan in Cooperstown, N.Y. in the Hall of Fame.
Greg Maddux was inducted in landslide fashion on Wednesday and is currently serving as a special assistant to the GM for Rangers GM Jon Daniels. He attends spring training every year (in full uniform in the dugouts) and also works with the minor league clubs and the instructional league teams.
“It’s an honor for us to work with one of the true greats,” Daniels told The Dallas Morning News of Maddux. “He has made an impression on all of us with his passion for and knowledge of the game, his willingness to share it with all, and his ability to keep things loose and have fun.”
Maddux has made a good impression on the Rangers' young pitching staff in his short time in the organization. Maddux is known as one of the great technicians and tacticians on the mound in the history of the game, winning well over 300 games and four straight Cy Young Awards with a fastball that barely cracked 90 mph and pinpoint precision.
“The biggest thing for me was being able to pick his brain about how he approached hitters,” Rangers starter Matt Harrison said. “His awareness on the mound was something I’d never seen before. He encouraged me to learn how to pitch on my own.”