A Standout Player
Despite his obvious talent, Greg Maddux had a shaky start in the major league and didn't become a standout player until May of 1988. He pitched a consecutive 26 and two-thirds scoreless innings. That season he enjoyed a nine game winning streak. In June, he was named Pitcher-of-the-Month for his 5-0 record and 2.22 ERA. He became the youngest player ever named to the All-Star Team at midseason and closed the year with an 188 record, 3.18 ERA and three shutouts.
1989 was another thrilling season for Maddux. His record of 19-12 was second in the National League for wins and his ERA was an exceptional 2.95. As a starter he pitched 35 games and led the Cubs to the National League East title. Continuing with the Cubs in 1990 and 1991 Maddux's statistics got progressively stronger. He was consistently a league leader in strikeouts, complete games, shutouts and wins.
The 1992 season was a watershed for Maddux, who had one of the best pitching seasons in the history of baseball. His record was 20-11 and for the first time in 15 years the Cubs had a 20-game winner. Maddux won the first of a record breaking four consecutive Cy Young Awards and his third consecutive Gold Glove Award as the best fielder in his position. At the end of the season, Maddux became a free agent and turned down a more lucrative offer from the Yankees to continue playing in the National League with the Atlanta Braves.