2002 Donruss Originals Greg Maddux
Ok, this is cheating, but Greg's rookie year was in 1986 but he has no cards from that year. I guess there's a minor league card out there somewhere but I don't have it.
1987 Topps Traded Greg Maddux
Yeah, that's right. It's in a rookie card toploader. My first Maddux rookie was out of a box of '87 Donruss I bought at Art Moods card and frame shop for twenty five bucks. I almost showed off that one, but this one was much harder for me to get even though I passed on a Traded set back in '87 for about a quarter of the cost of the Donruss box. I think it looks better than the Donruss rookie too, actually.
1988 O-Pee-Chee Greg Maddux
You all know that this iconic card isn't actually Greg's rookie card, right? It's his first Topps card. Or, that's what it was called back in the day when Traded sets didnt' count as rookie cards. As you can see from the previous card, it's not even his first Topps card. This isn't even a Topps card at all! I snuck in an O-Pee-Chee when you weren't looking! Ha!
1989 Donruss All-Stars Greg Maddux
Greg was selected for his first All Star Game in 1988 and this card from Donruss commemorates that event. This card doesn't actually show him in the All Star game though, he never got in the game.
1990 Topps Greg Maddux
This set, by rule, is hideous. But you know what? The goofy borders work here. The back is nicer than the front as it shows Greg's 19 wins and first sub 3.00 ERA in 1989.
1991 Fleer Greg Maddux
In 1991 I was too busy buying Braves like crazy to bother with Maddux. in 1993 when he became a Brave I was a broke college kid who didn't have the money to buy a bunch of cards featuring a Cub. In 1996 I had cash and wheels and three card shops at my disposal, but I was after cards with an A on the cap. By 1998 I was full blown Chipper crazy and while I still picked up Maddux cards, but not in the quantity that I did before. Now, when I'm doing a retrospective on his career, I can't find any nice Maddux cards like '91 Stadium Club or Leaf or Upper Deck, but these things are all over the place. Sorry. That image of Maddux in mid-pitch is seen on maaaaaaaany other cards though.
1992 Pinnacle Team 2000 Greg Maddux
In 1992 Greg beat Tom Glavine for the Cy Young award, the bum. I purposely left that statement ambiguous because the guy I thought was the bum in 1992 is not necessarily the same guy in 2008. This card came out of the first big time box of cards I ever bought. A box of '92 Pinnacle Jumbo packs. I bought it mainly for the Team 2000 inserts. It's a nice looking set, but there's a lot of players that didn't quite make it to 2000. Wanna know how much I paid for the box? $65. That was about 14 or 15 hours working at Winn-Dixie at the time. Oh well.
1993 Upper Deck Greg Maddux
This was the first card I had of Greg in a Braves uniform. Well, maybe not this exact card, but it was one of the Upper Deck ones. I remember in '92 - 16 years ago tomorrow actually - when the Braves signed him. I was in total disbelief. "We got who? The Cy Young Guy? In addition to Glavine, Avery and Smoltz? He didn't sign with the Yankees? No way!" Way.
1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection Greg Maddux
God, Dufex was freaking amazing in 1994. So was Maddog. Dude's ERA in '94 was 1.56. One. Point. Five. Six. And that's in over 200 innings pitched that year. Museum? That's good enough for the freaking Louvre.
1995 Pinnacle Pinnacle Performers Greg Maddux
He reached the pinnacle in '95 all right. 19-2, 1.63 ERA, 181 Ks, 0.811 WHIP. Oh and that World Series thing too.
1996 Pacific Crown Die-Cut Greg Maddux
Greg Held the crown as King of Pitchers in 1996, and was still generous enough to let Smoltzie win the Cy Young that year.
1997 Sports Illustrated Greg Maddux
I think this card speaks for itself, don't you?
Oh, the answer on page 22 is Walter Johnson.
1998 Leaf Curtain Calls Diamond Axis Fractal Matrix Die Cut Greg Maddux #37/50
This is my best Greg Maddux card. It's not the most expensive, It doesn't have an autograph or jersey piece on it, it sure ain't the best looking card in the world, he's not in a Braves uniform and there's a big roller mark in the middle of it. It's basically a parallel of a subset of reprints. But it's still the best one I have, because I pulled it out of a pack that I bought at Northlake Stamp & Coin in 1998. I opened up the pack and almost pyewped myself. Remember, this was back when cards numbered to 50 actually meant something. I put it in the screw-down case back then and it hasn't left it since. The card is a deep pretty blue, has some superfluous die cut notches out of it, and is a reprint of his 1991 Leaf card. I'm still pretty amazed I managed to pull this considering the impossible odds back then.
1999 Topps Finest Peel & Reveal Greg Maddux
I wasn't planning to show off this card, but I like the way it looks, so why not. Topps did a bunch of "Mystery Finest" cards back in the 90's where there was a black film covering the card and you had to peel it off to see who it was. The black film is still on the back of this one, which is the way it was when I got it. I'm actually afraid to try to peel it off now, it seems stuck pretty tight. I like the way it looks lith the black sparly background anyway so no big deal. I got to see him pitch in the only World Series game I have ever been to in the year this card came out. The Braves lost that game, but it sure wasn't because of Greg.
2000 Topps Hands of Gold Greg Maddux
2000 Upper Deck Cooperstown Calling Greg Maddux
Ok, here's the portion of our program where Dayf screwed up. You see, I very meticulously went through all my Maddux cards looking for exactly one from each year that helped sum up his career. I've got a ton of Maddux cards so a whole lot didn't make the cut. While in the middle of posting this, I relized that what I thought was a 1999 Topps insert was actually a 2000 Topps insert. Oops. Now I had two 2000s and no 1999s. To be honest, now I'm wondering if that Upper Deck card isn't from 2001. I hastily found the shiny card up above, but since both these cards were important in the narrative (and were already uploaded to Picasa) I'm just going to show 'em both off.
The Hands of Gold card represents Greg's insane eighteen Gold Glove awards. He won the award for the National league every single year from 1990 to his final season in 2008 except for 2003, when he generously let his teammate Mike Hampton win the award. The Cooperstown Calling card? Well, that's just obvious. I hope the Hall of Fame voters don't hold his defensive prowess against him like they are doing with Jim Kaat. Oh, yeah, I went there. Stupid voters.
2001 Topps Mound Masters Greg Maddux, Cy Young and some other guy
I get the connection between Maddux and Cy Young, but what's that cheatin' bum got in common with them? Topps should have put Pedro on this card and saved Clemens for the Combo card with Barry, McGwire and Canseco.
'53 Topps is my favorite design. At least the originals with the paintings that is, but the 2002 Heritage set did a pretty good job. I couldn't go through this whole post without including a Heritage card, so here it is.
2003 Donruss Diamond Kings Gold Greg Maddux #2358/2500
Remeber how I said that 1998 Leaf Mandelbrot Fractal Die Cut thingy wasn't my prettiest Maddux card? Well, this one is. Damn this card looks good. The text on the back mentions how his 7 strikeout game on 9/2/06 against the Pirates gave him his 16th straight 100 strikeout season, bringing him closer to Steve Carlton's NL record of 18. Maddux finished his career with 21 straight 100-K seasons and missed a 22nd last year by only two strikeouts.
If anyone was a craftsman at pitching it was Maddux. He painted corners like Da Vinci painted perspectives. Like Michaelangelo painted anatomy. Like Rembrandt painted light. Like Seurat painted a bunch of little dots. Like Picasso painted really freaky looking chicks. Like Dali painted acid trips before acid was even invented. Like Warhol painted crap. I think you get the analogy by now.
Back with the Cubs. Sigh. Because we just couldn't afford the 6 million dollar salary the Cubs ended up paying him. Double Sigh. This card looks good though, although there should really be some ivy climbing up that wall in the background.
2006 Turkey Red Greg Maddux
If I were to ever build a time machine, the first place I would go would be to a five and dime in 1953 and buy up all the bubble gum cards I could find. Then I would go to 1933 and do the same. Then I would go to 1972, say hi to my pregnant mom, go check out a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert, vote for Shirley Chisholm and then buy up all the cards I could find. Then I would go to 1887, befriend a chain smoker, ask him to hold onto all those cards he pulls out of cigarette packs and then jump forward to 1892 and trade him a bale of tobacco or them all. Then I would go to 1909, stay until 1911 and buy EVERYTHING. Cigarettes, caramel, newspapers, cabinet photos, tobacco, strip cards, EVERYTHING. And if during my travels, I would somehow create a temporal anomaly, and I would open up one of those packs and pull a Greg Maddux card, I would not be surprised. Maddux could pitch in any era.
2007 Topps Greg Maddux Award Winner
HOW THE HELL DO YOU TRADE GREG MADDUX?!? Seriously! For Cesar Izturis?!?!!? What the fff- ... come on! I don't wanna hear any whining from Cubs fans ever again, because, damn, you put it on yourself! This is worse than the goat! Jeez. Cesar Izturis. Yeah, I know the Padres traded him too, but their GM is Kevin Towers. 'Nuff said. On a seperate note, I need a question answered from Dodger fans. Are Maddux cards in a Dodger uniform as hard to find as they seem to be? I looked all weekend for one before giving up and ganking a Chrome refractor image off of eBay, then remembering "duh - if it's in Chrome, it's in the base set". For some reason there seems to be less Maddux cards overall the past few years which is really a shame.
A tip of the cap to the master. 355-277. 5008 Innings pitched. 109 complete games. 3371 strikeouts. 3.16 lifetime ERA. 4 Cy Young Awards. First Ballot Hall of Famer.
I don't know if Maddux will appear in any 2009 products. I'm not sure if he's even allowed to be in any 2009 products now that he's retired. I really hope he is though. One last base card to sum up a magnificent career. Just one more card so we can have that full career line on the back of the card. I'm not sure what Greg will be up to next, but I'm sure he will excel at it.