Around the media, Maddux was polite and available though far from expansive. He knew he was darn good. You don’t post the numbers he did for as long as he did without having an incredible level of confidence. But he never passed himself off as anything special.
He practically bristled at the suggestion he was some sort of baseball savant, a fanatic with his preparation. The idea of Maddux with complex charts and graphs and assorted other information was false.
“It’s more knowing a little about the opposition,” Maddux said in a 1995 interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “and knowing a lot about yourself.”
Maddux didn’t dominate in the postseason like he did in the regular season, though much of that is a function of the way his team was playing rather than the way he was pitching. He played in 23 postseason series in his career and never won more than a game in any of them. His postseason record was a pedestrian 11-14. But his postseason ERA of 3.24 is only a tick higher than his career ERA of 3.16. Heck, he was 0-2 in a 1997 series against the eventual World Series champion Marlins despite giving up just two earned runs in 13 innings.
Sure, a couple more championship rings would have added to the legend. Maddux pitched in three World Series (1995, 1996 and 1999) and the Braves won just one of them (1995). Maddux played with three other teams — the Cubs, Dodgers and Padres — and none made it to the Series.
That he’s in the Hall is appropriate. That he isn’t unanimous is baffling.