At the conclusion of the 2008 baseball season, two of the greatest pitchers of this generation have decided to retire, Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina.
For most of the last three decades, both men have performed above all else, rising to the top of the league's best, despite pitching during what has now become known as the "steroid era." Chicks might dig the long ball, but these two had more substance than substances to win over baseball purists as well as the casual fan.
We were very much privelaged to witness the careers of two greats.
Mussina, better know as "Moose", began his career with the Baltimore Orioles and spent nine years with them after rapidly blazing through Stanford University and rising through the minors.
After his stint with the Orioles, Moose later joined the Yankees we all had the opportunity to watch him flourish from his prime years into an elder that reinvented himself to finally achieve winning twenty games in his final season. Moose has always been a pleasure to watch pitch. Although it seems his 270 wins, 2,813 strikeouts, and career 3.68 earned run average is more than good enough to enter the Hall of Fame, Moose seems to have many doubters and critics due to his "almost-like" career. From almost winning a World Series to almost winning a CY Young Award, critics always labeled Mussina as never being able to get over the hump.
Nevertheless, memories of Moose's almost (theres that word again) perfect game at Fenway in 2001; Game 3 of the ALDS in Oakland which his performance was overshadowed by Derek Jeter's "Flip Play"; and his work in relief for the first time ever in his entire life, holding the Red Sox and sparking a come back for the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, will all never be forgotten. It was an honor to watch Mussina as a Yankee, and a privelage to learn about his knowledge on pitching in John Feinstein's, "Living on The Black."
* 270-153 Win-Loss Record.
* 2,813 Strikeouts.
* 3.68 ERA
* Five Time All-Star. ('92,'93,'94,'97,'99)
* Seven-time Gold Glove Award Winner. ('96,'97,'98,'99,'01,'03,'08)
And then there is Greg Maddux. The prototypical definition of the position pitcher. Maddux, who will probably be now known as the greatest pitcher of the modern, post-dead ball era, rightfully deserves the accolades, compiling a resume that will never be matched again.
Maddux, a pitcher that epitomized control over velocity, baffled hitters, fielded his position with the best of them, and won many, many big games, is a package that is rare, and a privilege to have witness in my lifetime. With his knowledge, Maddux will make a great baseball mind that can help others play the great game of baseball.
* 355-227 Win-Loss Record.
* 3.16 ERA
* 3,371 Strikeouts
* Eight-Time All-Star ('88,'92,'94,'95,'96,'97,'98,'00)
* Eighteen-Time Gold Glove Award Winner('90,'91,'92,'93,'94,'95,'96,'97,'98,'99,'00,'01,'02,'04,'05,'06,'07,'08)
* Four Time CY Young Award Winner ('92,'93,'94,'95)