Chicago Cubs: Maddux made baseball history while returning to the Cubs
One of the most anticipated milestones for Maddux going into 2004 was him closing in on his 300th career win. On August 7, 2004 he became the 22nd pitcher in baseball history to reach the 300 win mark as he defeated the San Francisco Giants on the road with a five-inning, four-run effort. It was certainly not the best game he had ever pitched in his life but it was enough to get him the victory. He would be honored at Wrigley Field for his milestone soon after.
By the end of 2004, Maddux had won 15+ starts in 17 consecutive seasons, which is still today’s record. Because pitchers are used differently today and win-loss is pretty irrelevant now, this record very well could stand the test of time.
Come 2005, Maddux was closing in on another big milestone, 3,000 strikeouts. For a guy who is the opposite of overpowering, reaching this total was extremely impressive. On July 26 at Wrigley Field, he recorded that 3,000th strikeout by getting Giants Omar Vizquel looking on a 2-2 pitch. He became only the 13th pitcher in MLB history to accomplish that feat, and the first player in baseball history with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and less than 1,000 walks.
In 2006 with the Cubs and Dodgers, Maddux won his 16th Gold Glove. This tied Jim Kaat at the time for most Gold Gloves won by a pitcher. He would eventually finish with 18, still today’s record for a pitcher with Gold Gloves.
Maddux will always be an all-time Cubs favorite. There is a reason his number hangs from the Wrigley Field flagpole. In the end he spent 10 seasons with the Cubs (1986-1992, 2004-2006) and pitched to a 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.52 FIP and won one of his four Cy Young awards (1992) in a Cubs uniform.