“One of my all-time favorites,” Colletti said of Maddux. “One of the best I’ve ever been around.”
Maddux was the leading vote-getter on the 2014 ballot, with 555 votes of the 571 ballots cast by senior members of the BBWAA. That represented 97.2 percent of the vote, the eighth-highest percentage ever since the first Hall ballots were cast in 1936.
Maddux will be joined in Cooperstown by Tom Glavine, who received 525 votes (91.9 percent), and Frank Thomas, who received 478 (83.7).
Known for his intellectual approach to pitching that allowed him to thrive despite average velocity, Maddux finished his career with 355 wins, eighth all-time. Only three pitchers started more than Maddux’s 740 games: Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton.
“He was just clever,” said Dodgers president Stan Kasten, who was the president of the Braves when Maddux signed in Atlanta in 1992. “He grew up in Vegas. His dad worked as a dealer. He was smart about games, gaming, gamesmanship, about moves and countermoves. I think he also reveled in his everyman appearance. It’s been said many times, ‘take the uniform off and put Maddux in a mall in Atlanta with his street clothes and glasses on, and no one would recognize him.’ It’s still true today. He reveled in that.”
By the time Maddux joined the Dodgers in a 2006 trade for Cesar Izturis, he was past his prime but still effective. In his first start in a Dodgers uniform, he threw six innings of no-hit ball in a 3-0 win at Cincinnati. Maddux went 6-3 over the final two months of the season, helping the Dodgers reach the National League Division Series.
Maddux lasted only four innings in his only playoff start that year and signed with San Diego the following winter.
Maddux made his final seven regular-season starts for the Dodgers, going 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA. In the playoffs, he made three more appearances, all in relief. His final pitch was thrown in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, a 5-1 Dodgers loss.
When the season ended, Maddux was given his record 18th Gold Glove award.
Colletti called Maddux “the greatest pitcher I was ever around and one of the greatest minds I was ever around.”
Will the Dodgers do anything to recognize Maddux’s induction?
“That’s something I will have to think about,” Colletti said.
The Dodgers have a policy of retiring only numbers that belonged to Hall of Famers; Jim Gilliam‘s number 19 is the lone exception among the 10. Kasten, in a text message, ruled out retiring Maddux’s number 36.