Maddux Made Name and Number For Himself Print E-mail
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Thursday, 11 December 2008

Two of the best pitchers in the history of the game wore No. 31 for the Chicago Cubs.

Greg Maddux, who announced his retirement last Monday, got his start with the Cubs in 1986. After a humble beginning, Maddux went on to record an astounding 355 victories through guile and precision, instead of over-powering stuff.

Maddux was a member of a World Series champion as a member of the Atlanta Braves after the Cubs failed to re-sign him as a free agent in 1992. He also pitched for the San Diego Padres and most recently for the Los Angeles Dodgers following a second stint with the Cubs.

The other famous No. 31 for the Cubs was Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins. Fergie won 284 games, including six straight 20-win seasons for the Cubs. He never had the good fortune to play for a first-place team or even in the post-season. Yet Jenkins was dominant. He began with the Phillies before being dealt to the Cubs in 1966. He then took his smooth delivery to Texas and Boston before returning to the Cubs in the early 1980s.

Jenkins had five seasons in which he threw for over 300 innings. And he had 267 complete games during his career.

Perhaps now the Cubs will retire their famous No. 31 jersey. Maddux is a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer.





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