10. Greg “Mad Dog” Maddux: 1986 – 1992, 2004 – 2006.
I love this nickname. Greg Maddux was one of the 90’s greatest pitchers, and he deserved a nickname as cool as “Mad Dog.”
In his time as a Cub, Maddux was a two-time All-Star who won the first of his four consecutive Cy Young awards. Though he would go on to have his best seasons as part of the Big Three (an admittedly cool nickname in its own right) in Atlanta, he still created a lot of great memories on the Northside.
In his Cy Young-winning season with the Chicago Cubs, Maddux led the league in wins, and games started, innings pitched, batters faced, ERA+, FIP, and home runs per nine innings. Throughout the next six years, he would never place lower than fifth in Cy Young voting and placed as high as third in MVP voting.
My only issue with his nickname is that it doesn’t fit the mild-mannered Maddux that can be seen off the field. It also doesn’t match his style of pitching, which didn’t seem particularly vicious on the surface.
Maddux lived by his control, preferring to use a combo of well-placed pitches rather than vicious velocity. Still, his strikeout numbers demonstrated an impressive ability to mow down batters, with a career total of 3,371 strikeouts in 5008 1/3 innings pitched.
On second thought, maybe Mad Dog was a good fit for a pitcher like Maddux. I mean, I wasn’t in the batter’s box against him, so it’s not like I could feel the fear he struck into batters’ hearts.