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Greg Maddux, Tony La Russa to have blank caps on their Hall of Fame plaques

Jan 23, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

Greg Maddux

A few years ago Wade Boggs caused a stir when it was suggested that he had an agreement with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to have a Devil Rays cap featured on his Hall of Fame plaque. Either because of that — or by virtue of a grand coincidence — the Hall took the choice away from the players and decided that it, with an eye toward properly representing the players’ history it, and not the player, would make the final decision.

One caveat to that: the Hall still seeks player input, and the option of a blank cap remains on the table. One presumes this is so in the event that it truly is too difficult to assign one cap to a player given comparable historic legacies with multiple teams. Or, perhaps, if the player had a serious falling out with his most historically significant team at some point. Gotta have an out, right?

Well, two unexpected inductees have taken that out. From the Hall of Fames plaque announcement today:

In conjunction with the Hall of Fame, the six members of the class of 2014 have made their selections for the logo inclusion on their Hall of Fame plaque: Bobby Cox – Atlanta; Tom Glavine – Atlanta; Tony La Russa – no logo; Greg Maddux – no logo; Frank Thomas – Chicago White Sox; and Joe Torre –New York Yankees.

It seems pretty nuts to me that Maddux will not be in a Braves cap. While there are multiple ways to measure the value of a career, one must tread into the land of lunacy to come up with an argument that Maddux’s contributions to baseball as a Brave were rivaled by his contributions as a member of any of the other teams for which he played. Cubs included. Heck, add up his Cubs, Dodgers and Padres years and I bet you still don’t  equal his Braves years.

La Russa may be a closer case — he did win a World Series and three pennants with the A’s — but two rings with the Cardinals and nearly twice as many wins in St. Louis than in Oakland suggest that he should be a Cardinal on his plaque.

I assume that the deciding factor in both cases was Maddux and La Russa not wanting to play favorites. And I suppose that’s awfully nice and diplomatic of them. But really, if the Hall of Fame is not going to give the inductee final say, I’m not certain it should be weighing their preferences all that heavily either. Especially when such preferences, with all respect to the feelings of these two guys, skew ahistorical.

  1. Ayana Rashed - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Reblogged this on Imarashed.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Interestingly, and I’m not disagreeing with your article, but I didn’t realize he pitched more games not for the Braves than he did for the Braves.

    • rje49 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Yes, he did pitch more games for other teams, combined, but his wins and all other stats were better with Atlanta than all the others combined.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        “and I’m not disagreeing with your article”

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Craig, total bullsheet on Maddux part, he is in HOF because of the years with the Braves, I should know because I watched him torture the Mets in a few games
    I remember Clemens told a reporter when he was pitching for the Yankees,” they better send me in with a Yankee cap or I will have my own ceremony in Houston”.

    • yahmule - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Because Clemens is an ass.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I don’t know about that, I just watched him from my couch and a few times behind home plate, about three rows back.

      • mikhelb - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Because Boston’s front office, the media and their fans have the tendency of crucifying every player that goes to another team after the red sox decide they won’t sign them, see: Manny, Pedro, Youkilis, Boggs, Lowell, etcetera. As soon as a player doesn’t have a red sox cap on, for them he becomes “the worst human being in history”. David Ortíz saved his behind of all that by staying there even when the media speaks ill of him whenever he forgets to take his special Presinal milkshakes in the dominican republic and his productivity diminishes.

    • happytwinsfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      clemen’s best years were with the redsox

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        I don’t know, he won with the Yankees and won a few cy young awards too.
        I won’t argue because I don’t think he will be getting in so no worries.

      • sportsfan18 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM


        if you meant he wond a few Cy Young awards with the Yanks, you’re wrong.

        Yeah, he won a good percentage of his games when on the Yanks but that was because they were good as a team.

        He pitched his worse while on the Yanks in his career. His ERA was over 4, highest of any team he pitched for by far.

        His WHIP was far and away the highest/worse while pitching for the Yanks than on any other team.

        He gave up the most hits per 9 innings, walks per 9 innings and struck out the fewest batters per 9 innings with the Yanks than he did on any other team he was on.

        Basically in EVERY way except for won loss record, Clemens WORST years were with the Yanks.

        But don’t let facts and stats get in your way…

      • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:57 PM

        His clean years were with the Red Sox, then they dump him and suddenly his heads bigger and hes killing it in Toronto, New York and Houston like he was in 1986…

      • mikhelb - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        @dcfan4life hahahaha “his clean years” yeah sure, either he always used PEDs or he never used, his physique didn’t change, sure he was fatter when he got older with other teams, but really remember how he looked back in 1986 and all his fine years with the sox.

        Only red sox fans think players don’t dope while on their team, but there were declarations of a former player who said MLB and the bosox sent doctors to teach them how to dope correctly… that player had to change versions because he was threatened to be fired from his job working with the red sox and the media (same as when John Henry demanded that the boston globe fired that writer who asked Ortíz about his PED use… before Henry decided to buy the boston globe).

      • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Whoever said red sox players didnt take steroids. What i saw in boston was this. and what i saw in New York was this and as you can see his neck is bigger, his head is bigger, his shoulders are broader and his chest is bulky. The larger head gives away the steroids imo cuz the rest can be done with weight lifting.

      • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        His only truly successful years were with the Yankees.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        He never does.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Roger Clemens says a lot of things.

  4. cohnjusack - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    The Maddux thing is…strange.

    With the Braves:
    194 wins, 2.63 ERA, 3 Cy Young Awards, 7 AS Appearances, 10 postseason appearances

    Away from Braves:
    161 wins, 3.69 ERA, 1 Cy Young, 2 AS Appearances, 3 postseason appearances

    • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      I blame Larry Jones.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Is Chipper going in with no logo too, Craig will surely faint when he hears that.


      • Jeremy T - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        I think Chipper pretty clearly established his legacy as a member of the Durham Bulls

  5. sfm073 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Wow, then neither team should retire their numbers.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      The Cubs and Braves retired Maddux’s number in 2009.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        well bring it back, he sheet on them, so sheet on him.

    • danandcasey - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      Too late. Braves and Cubs retired #31. St. Louis retired #10.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        you mean Torre, but he won his championships in Pinstripes, St. Louis fired him.

    • basedrum777 - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Can’t he just want to acknowledge both teams? This is his only way to do that I think. The plaque will still say his story right?

  6. braddavery - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I guess I understand why for Maddux. He pitched 2,526.2 innings with the Braves and 2,016 with the Cubs. Really, it should be like Canton where no team is prevalent, but all teams the player played with listed. Reggie Jackson in the HOF as a Yankee kind of makes the entire “team picking” process a joke anyways.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Reggie won two championships in Pinstripes, three for Oakland, not such a big difference.
      Wade Boggs was disgraceful, he was going to the highest bidder, that’s wrong.

      • braddavery - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        10 seasons in Oakland and 5 in New York. The entire team picking thing is absurd. The player played for every team he played for. It should be like the football HOF where it is a player thing, not a team thing.

      • sportsfan18 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Players going to the highest bidder is disgraceful Evil?

        About 80% of ALL Yankee players are ONLY on the Yanks because they signed with the team who was the highest bidder.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        Boggs was going with his home town team. It wasn’t the right thing to do as it wasn’t representative of the majority of his career, but the motivation wasn’t mercenary.

      • mikhelb - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        Plus… Boggs said he didn’t want a bosox logo on his plaque for the way they treated him.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Reggie made a business move. It’s been better for him, financially, to be associated with the Yankees than the A’s. It was a smart business move, so I don’t begrudge him for it.

      • braddavery - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        What should business have to do with a HOF enshrinement. It should be “So and so, HOFer, played for (lists all teams played for” end of story. Allowing a player to choose his team or picking one for them is absurd.

  7. NYTolstoy - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Craig I also agree with you. Let them have input but come on when everyone thinks Maddux they think 15 years of Braves history, pitching in front of Galvine and Smoltz. Braves playoffs and a WS and dominant pitching at its finnest. How the hell does he not think it should be a brave? Just when the HOF nonsense is over and we can enjoy the induction Maddux throws a wrench. Did the Cubs REALLY influence him that much? Maybe the Dodgers lol. Wish he would give a reason.

  8. elwaysagenius - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Yeah but Frank Thomas hit #500 on the Blue Jays. Why the snub, Frank?

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      At least I still have my figurine of Frank in A Jay’s uniform hitting # 500.

      By the way, the Jays eventually dumped Frank, to ensure that he would not be guaranteed a contract extension based on games played in a Jay’s uniform. At that time, he was pretty much done, but was upset that he did not get the money he would have otherwise been paid (P.S. I was about to write “earned”, but decided to omit that word as it would have been slightly inaccurate.

    • mikhelb - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      and he signed an autograph for me when he played with the A’s… why didn’t he go as an A? 😦

  9. jkcalhoun - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Makes one wonder who might have an endorsement deal with nologo.

  10. moogro - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    I like blank caps, or better, no caps. It was an arbitrary sculptural decision that can change. We’ve seen these guys with their caps off many times and we still recognize them. It better reflects that these are individual career accomplishments. The team pajamas they wear isn’t a necessary ingredient anymore, and with players moving around being the norm, not a rule you want to be stuck with. Besides, the cap thing isn’t even close to universal:

    The following hall of famers are not wearing a cap on their hall of fame plaque: Ed Barrow, Dan Brouthers, Morgan Bulkeley, Jesse Burkett, Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, Happy Chandler, Jimmy Collins, Candy Cummings, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Ford Frick, Warren Giles, Ned Hanlon, Will Harridge, William Hulbert, Ban Johnson, King Kelly, Kenesaw Landis, Connie Mack, Larry MacPhail, Lee MacPhail, Joe McGinnity, Mel Ott, Branch Rickey, Frank Selee, George Sisler, Al Spalding, Bill Veeck, Bobby Wallace, George Weiss, Vic Willis, George Wright, Harry Wright and Tom Yawkey.

    The following hall of famers are wearing a cap on their plaque, but the team is not identifiable (if a number is, it follows their name): Grover Alexander, Cap Anson, Frank Baker, Dave Bancroft, Al Barlick, Jake Beckley, Cool Papa Bell (17), Chief Bender, Yogi Berra (8), Jim Bottomley (3), Roger Bresnahan, Mordecai Brown, Oscar Charleston, Jack Chesbro, Nestor Chylak, John Clarkson, Eddie Collins, Charlie Comiskey, Jocko Conlan, Tom Connolly, Roger Connor, George Davis, Martin Dihigo, Billy Evans, Johnny Evers, Buck Ewing, Elmer Flick, Rube Foster, Bill Foster, Frankie Frisch (3), Pud Galvin, Charlie Gehringer (2), Josh Gibson (20), Clark Griffith, Chick Hafey (4), Jesse Haines, Harry Heilmann, Harry Hooper, Rogers Hornsby, Cal Hubbard, Catfish Hunter (27), Judy Johnson (5), Tim Keefe, Joe Kelley, Bill Klem, Buck Leonard (32), Pop Lloyd, Rube Marquard, Bill McGowan, Joe Medwick (7), Johnny Mize (10), Jim O’Rourke, Satchel Paige (26), Eddie Plank, Old Hoss Radbourn, Wilbert Robinson, Amos Rusie, Ray Schalk, Tris Speaker, Turkey Stearnes (8), Sam Thompson, Joe Tinker, Rube Waddell, Honus Wagner, Ed Walsh, John Ward and Mickey Welch.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      no caps, do you play with no cap, a cap is part of the uniform, must have cap.

      • moogro - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Their are no “while playing images” or “action shots” done in bronze there. The bronze plaques are reproductions of posing for a photographer. You don’t see ballplayers say, “wait, let me get my cap on” while they are photographed, especially when with their families. That would be weird. Like that Honus Wagner baseball card. Adding a cap adds nothing.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        moogro, do you take the field with a cap, yes or no. The HOF will be his last team so he
        will need a cap, if the HOF’ers decide to play a game he will need a cap. This is ridiculous,
        when a players is given a white Yankee jersey with dark blue pinstripes he is given a dark blue cap with the interlocking NY.

      • mikhelb - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        @moogro back in the early days of baseball the only place players got photographied were in the stadiums, the media of the day respected a lot the privacy of the players, unless they were BIG players like Ruth and Gehrig.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Caps off to you for doing the research.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Tom Yawkey’s plaque would be improved by eliminating — along with the non-existent cap — his head, his name, the list of his so-called accomplishments, and the materials with which it was made.

    • nukeladouche - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:38 AM


      Oops. Nevermind.

      ~ Emily Litella.

  11. yahmule - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Didn’t a certain sex addicted chicken plucker hurt some feelings by wanting to go in as a Devil Ray a few years back?

  12. Bar None - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I would argue that without Maddux’s time with the Cubs he wouldn’t have had the time in Atlanta that he did. If he had tanked with the Cubs, the Braves aren’t going to give him a better contract. I think that Maddux truly was a split between the Cubs and the Braves and the no-cap is a good idea.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      How many cy young, world series appearances and gold gloves did he have with the Cubs.

    • chc4 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      Wow, that is a really bizarre viewpoint. So w/ that line of thinking no player that leaves his original team for HOF success elsewhere should wear a cap. Not feeling you at all on that one.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        There is nothing bizarre about his stats with the Braves compared to the Cubs.
        I never said anything about a player who left his original team not selecting that
        teams cap, so I have no idea where you got that from, but it is bizarre.

      • Bar None - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        I’m not saying that every player who leaves. That is over stating what I said. He help resurrect a Cubs team that had been pathetic. He had great success, he had more in Atlanta because he was surrounded by guys like Glavine, Smoltz, Jones, etc. I’m just saying he put up good numbers with the Cubs and Atlanta and therefore it makes sense to not have one over the other.

    • Reflex - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      So when Bagwell eventually gets in he should wear a Red Sox cap?

      • Reflex - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Oh hell, forgot the most obvious: Should Ruth be wearing a Red Sox cap in the hall?

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        I never said that, maybe you should read my post again because you are confused.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        you just making up stupid sheet to post, pathetic!

      • Reflex - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        I was responding to Bar None. So are the others you seem to be responding to.

    • jm91rs - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      And if it weren’t for his little league team he might not have made his high school team. He may not have then gone to the cubs, or the braves, etc. Put him in with his little league cap.

    • louderthanwords1 - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Evil you realize you replied to Bar None? chc4 and reflex are also replying to his post NOT yours so instead of calling other people pathetic why don’t you realize what your replying to. On a side note it’s nice to see all the thumbs down to your posts meaning that you are the only one on here at the moment lacking the ability to carry on and follow a conversation involving multiple people.

    • bravojawja - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Of course, if Maddux had tanked with the Cubs, no one would have given him any kind of a contract, and the only Maddux anyone would remember is Mike.

  13. billybawl - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    My favorite is Rollie Fingers’ plaque. He has an A’s logo, but it’s sitting in the middle of what is clearly either a Padres or maybe a Brewers panel cap.

  14. fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    reflex and chc4, WTF are you guys carrying on with, stop making statements up.
    You two fellas remind me of Abbott and Costello, always making people laugh.


    • jimeejohnson - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Beat it already, sucker.

  15. foreverchipper10 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    No sir I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all!

  16. marcinhouston - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    LaRussa also coached the Whitesox for awhile and they and the A’s gave him his start and believed in him while the Cardinals bought a known commodity. LaRussa was close friends with the A’s owner who died in 1995 and only left the team after ownership changed. He may not want to turn his back on a dead friend who gave him a change when he was down where he got his first world series.

  17. markofapro - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    I forget, Craig, who is going into the hall of fame? You or Maddux?

  18. wjarvis - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    I really don’t see a problem with this for Maddux. I’m a Cub’s fan so I have a little bias, but I think I’m able to overlook that. Maddux clearly had the best years of his career as a Brave, so if he had a logo, it would have to be Atlanta. However, he did have a lot of big moments in his life happen while with Chicago and became a star player: first start, first post-season, first time as all-star, first cy young, first gold glove (6 total w/ Cubs), won 300th game, 3000th K, and got married when a Cub. This is of course just a subset of a many accomplishments and memories that come from his time in Chicago. He played 10 years with the Cubs which is significant even if he played most of his prime for the Braves.

  19. ningenito78 - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Awwwww Craigy. Butthurt one of your heroes doesn’t want to wear your favorite baseball cap in the Hall?

  20. FinFan68 - Jan 23, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Maddux should have a Braves cap on. Not really an argument against that. Where is he now? Might that have something to do with it or was there a nasty contract dispute with Atlanta?

  21. jerrahsucks - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Really sad move by Maddux. Really, really sad.

  22. jimmyt - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Someday fans and sportswriters alike will come to realize that these guys care about money, fame, accomadation, money, money and somewhere deep down on the list a small handful care a little bit about the fans. I don’t blame them but that is the way it is.

  23. bobdumon - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Maddux should be wearing a Braves cap. Period!

  24. Steve A - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    When Maddux signed with the Cubs before the 2004 season, I bet my friend $1000 that he would go into the Hall as a Cub, and my friend took the Braves. At the time, the player still held the power regarding his cap choice; and my argument was that Maddux would help the Cubs win the World Series and choose to be remembered as the triumphant hero returning to his original club to break the curse. I regretted that choice soon after, and luckily, my friend decided to wipe the bet away a few years ago.

    Even though the bet is no longer active, I wonder if I could have pushed it on this unforeseen technicality.

  25. johnnycantread - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Hats off to them!

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