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Is Greg Maddux The Most Disgusting Person To Be Voted Into Baseball’s Hall Of Fame?

greg maddux

The next class of the baseball Hall of Fame is set: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were all easily elected to the Hall yesterday. The class headliner, Maddux, took home the second-most votes ever in his first year on the ballot, probably because he’s not an accused steroid user like Roger Clemens.

Of course, Maddux deserves to be in the Hall, or at least glorified in some tangible way: He pitched for 23 years with a 3.16 ERA and took home 355 wins, four Cy Young awards and a World Series title. Some even think that he could have been even better, had he not pitched in an era full of cheaters.

But while Maddux’s pitching credentials were never in question, we do have one lingering query: Is Maddux the most disgusting person ever elected to the Hall? Because based on what we’ve heard about the guy, he’s pretty gross — all due respect.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the reported pranks and hijinks Maddux, nicknamed “Mad Dog,” pulled during his illustrious career.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“Oh, I’ve got a few (Maddux stories) but I don’t think they’re fit for print,” San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. “But he was certainly a prankster and a lot of fun.

“All I can tell you is ‘don’t eat the chili.’ I can’t go any further than that. (Maddux put) foreign objects in the chili.”

When Maddux played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, general manager Ned Colletti said he literally ignited the team.

“He used to light guys’ shoes on fire all the time,” Colletti said. “If somebody had a hot foot, 10 to 1 it was Greg who lit it.”

Maddux, known to belch or pass gas during locker-room interviews, also was “a master of strategically timed nose picking and sidling up to an unsuspecting rookie in the shower and urinating on the kid’s leg,” it was reported last year in an article on ESPN.com.

“I call him ‘The Silent Scumbag,’ ” Wells said in the story. “You would perceive him to be Einstein because he’s quiet and he’s always sitting there at his locker with a crossword puzzle. But he’s got a silent sickness to him. … Those quiet guys are the ones you have to watch out for.”

The story reported “many of Maddux’s teammates would carefully reach into the bin of sanitary socks with the hope of finding two that he hadn’t tarnished in some shape or form.”

“He’s the same dirtbag he’s always been,” Atlanta teammate Chipper Jones said, with a laugh, in the article. “He’s one of the grossest guys I’ve ever been around in my life.

Atlanta Journal-Consitution, via Creative Loafing Atlanta:

Chipper Jones was a rookie and got his first major-league hit, he understandably wanted to keep the ball. When he returned to the dugout, he discovered that the ball had been, er, doctored:

“I came off the field, and sure enough, there was a big ol’ loogie on it,” Jones said. “[Maddux had] picked his nose and wiped it on the baseball.”

Which reminds me of an even better, and slightly less disgusting, Greg Maddux story.

When John Burkett was pitching for the Braves, he received a package in the clubhouse one afternoon before a game. Burkett opened it and was astounded to discover six baseballs inside AND one of those throw-away cameras. A note from the fan audaciously asked Burkett to get Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz to sign the balls. “And please take a picture of them signing it so I’ll have proof the signatures are authentic.”

Now, Burkett had no idea who this fan was. Had never met him or even corresponded with him.

When he went over to Maddux with the camera to tell him about it, Maddux responded, “Take a picture of this.” And he promptly turned around, dropped his pants and mooned the clubhouse as Burkett snapped a picture.

AJC, via Larry Brown Sports:

I could tell you about how he (allegedly) urinated in the hot tub when he was a young Cubs pitcher, that story told to me years ago by Andre Dawson, who was in the big tub with a couple of other Cubs veterans when young Maddux informed them that he’d relieved himself in it a few minutes earlier.

UPDATE: We weren’t even aware that Maddux would get sexually aroused by the prospect of pitching. (h/t Jarod)

Who else can even compare? Babe Ruth was a binge-eating alcoholic, but that was more heartbreaking than out-and-out disgusting. Tony Gywnn was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland after using too much chewing tobacco, but again, that’s just sad. (Note: Spitball hurlers like Gaylord Perry should get a special nod here.) Most other pranksters are dudes like Joe Carter, who tried to give away a teammate’s car to a fan. You know, benign stuff that doesn’t involve urine.

So congratulations to Greg Maddux. He was good at baseball, and gross at life, and few people can say they were better than him in either regard.

UPDATE, 7/28/14: It’s the day after Maddux and company were officially enshrined in Cooperstown, and of course Maddux made a fart joke during his acceptance speech:

“My brother, Mike, led by example. Everything I was about to do on and off the field, he had already done. I was very fortunate to have a brother that I could learn from. He even taught me a little bit about science. It has to do with a little methane and a lighter, and I still get a huge kick out of it today.”

Photo via Getty

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