Five Cubs players I’m thankful I got to see play in my lifetime

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Greg Maddux / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: The OG Professor

Letting Greg Maddux go to Atlanta will live forever as former-Cub GM Larry Himes’ biggest blunder. Maddux began his career as a Cub and even came back to Chicago after his wildly spectacular run with the Braves, and is the best pitcher to ever pitch for the Cubs. With all due respect to Fergie Jenkins and Mordecai Brown, “The Professor” is on the short list of best pitchers to ever face MLB lineups.

When my cousin recently asked me about how good Maddux was, I made the comparison to a current Cub who shares a nickname, success, and repertoire with the former legend. That current Cub is, of course, Kyle Hendricks. What I added, however, is that Maddux was basically Hendricks from Opening Night of 2020 throwing a few ticks harder with even more consistent control and stuff. When modern or young fans who didn’t get to see Maddux work think about how good Hendricks is when he’s on, that’s a pretty comparison.

For fans who saw Maddux pitch, Hendricks even being mentioned in the same sentence is probably offensive.

With the ability to create and control whatever pitches he wanted, an extra favorable zone in his prime, and his bulldog mentality that gave him his other moniker “Mad Dog,” Maddux was a guy I was thankful for who management let get away. Sounds like a complaint generations of Cubs fans have had…