[Phenomenal] “Mad Dog" Greg Maddux

堪稱90年代最強的投手 – 控球大師 Greg Maddux 在今天正式宣布退休,

(* MLB官網報導: Maddux’s career ends, legend begins)

這位從我剛開始接觸MLB時就已經宰制聯盟的當代巨投, 大概是公認最會用腦袋打球的投手, 優異的洞察力(read what a hitter was thinking)和控球讓他總是取得球數上的領先, 以打者預期外的刁鑽角度投入好球帶的另一側, 曾帶過90年代勇士三巨投的投手教練Leo Mazzone就表示Maddux是他所知最聰明的投手,

“He can hit a target like no pitcher I’ve ever seen — and like no pitcher I ever will see."
~ Leo Mazzone, Braves pitching coach ~

先不談23年MLB生涯中累積355勝, ERA3.16和3371次三振的準名人堂紀錄, 球速不快的Maddux能在重砲雲集的MLB縱橫多年的, 靠的就是夭壽變態精準無比的控球, 能隨心所欲的將各種球路塞在好球帶的邊緣上, 在總計超過5008投球局數中竟然只有999次保送(還包含177次故意四壞)可見一斑…

“I can’t think of a better pitcher in the history of the game or a better guy to have on your team,"
~ Bobby Cox, Braves manager ~

(瘋狗三振對手的主要武器-Circle Changeup)

連續20年保持在十勝以上(包含連17年15勝以上)和18次金手套的空前紀錄, 對後輩球員來說也是道難以跨越的高牆, 而他的職業生涯經歷了90年代到2000年初MLB打擊大爆發的時期, 更顯得這些紀錄的難能可貴!!

最後節錄一則勇士隊官網“Maddux leaves legacy like no other"的逸事:

While tossing a three-hit, 89-pitch shutout at Yankee Stadium in 1997, Greg Maddux was strolling toward the dugout when he was stopped by umpire John Hirschbeck. The mid-inning exchange puzzled then-Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who immediately asked, “What did he say to you?"

After replying, “He told me I’m as good as advertised," Maddux smirked and added, “Isn’t that something, Leo? Not only do I have to live up to the expectations of the fans, but now I have to live up to the expectations of the umpires, too."

(剛出道時的Maddux)

ps. 關於老麥近乎神技的控球力, 坊間還流傳著一個未證實的故事…
當年同為勇士三巨頭的Smoltz曾經在練球時, 半開玩笑的問Maddux能不能把球投中外野牆上掛的KFC廣告, 結果老麥回過頭來問了一句 “你說的是哪個字母? K, F, or C"??

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