Most baseball fans associate Greg Maddux with the Atlanta Braves’ run of NL East dominance in the 1990s, but that won’t be reflected in Cooperstown.
Maddux, a four-time Cy Young winner, will not wear a Braves cap – or any team cap, for that matter – in his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque. Instead, his cap will be blank, a nod to what he called his equal allegiances to the Braves and Chicago Cubs.
“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves,” Maddux said in a statement released by the Hall. “It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”
Former manager Tony La Russa, who led both the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals to World Series championships, announced Thursday that he, too, will be enshrined in Cooperstown with a blank cap.
Maddux spent the first seven seasons of his 23-year MLB career with the Cubs, earning two All-Star nods and his first Cy Young Award, and returned to Chicago for another 2 1/2 seasons in 2004. He was a nearly unanimous Hall of Fame selection in his first year of eligibility, garnering 97.2 percent of the vote.
For the other two players in the 2014 class, cap choice was not an issue. Tom Glavine, Maddux’s longtime rotation mate, and Frank Thomas each spent the vast majority of their careers with one club. Glavine will wear a Braves cap in the Hall, and Thomas will go in as a member of the Chicago White Sox.
The same was true for the other two managers set to be inducted. Bobby Cox‘s plaque will feature a Braves cap, and Joe Torre‘s will feature a New York Yankees one.