After 23 seasons, "it's time to say goodbye," says pitcher Greg Maddux, 43, eighth on the all-time Major League Baseball win list. The future Hall of Famer captured his only World Series crown in 1995 with the Atlanta Braves.
AFP - Greg Maddux, perhaps the greatest pitcher of his generation and eighth on the all-time Major League Baseball win list, officially announced his retirement in Las Vegas on Monday.
Maddux, nicknamed "The Mad Dog" for his fierce competitiveness, bid farewell to baseball after 23 seasons, making the announcement at the game's winter meetings.
"I'm just here to say thank you," he said. "I appreciate everything the game has given me. It's going to be hard to walk away, but it's time. I have a family now and I need to spend more time with them.
"I still think I can play the game, but not as well as I want, so it's time to say goodbye."
Maddux has more wins than any living pitcher and ranks eighth on the all-time list with 355 victories - one more than Roger Clemens.
Scott Boras, Maddux's agent, had said on Friday that Maddux would confirm his farewell this week.
Maddux, who will turn 43 in April, went 355-227 over parts of 23 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. He captured his only World Series crown in 1995 with the Braves.
Maddux, who threw 35 shutouts and 109 complete games with a 3.16 earned-run average, won four consecutive Cy Young awards with Atlanta from 1992 through 1995.
Maddux was not an overpowering pitcher, instead relying on his pinpoint control and location, finishing with only 999 walks in 5,008 1/3 career innings - an average of less than one per nine innings.
The future Hall of Famer also was known for his fielding - winning a record 18 Gold Glove awards.
In 2007, Maddux went 14-11 with San Diego and the Padres chose to keep him for the 2008 campaign. But after a 6-9 showing in 26 starts, the Padres traded Maddux to the Dodgers for the final weeks of the season.
Working mainly in the bullpen for the National League West division winners, Maddux went 2-4 and surrendered two runs in four innings of work during the playoffs.
Maddux said he told his teammates before the start of last year that it would be his last season, but he chose not to make it public to avoid a farewell tour atmosphere.
"I don't think they believed me, but I think I was telling the truth," he said. "I didn't want a dog and pony show the last couple months of the season."
Date created : 2008-12-08