Greetings From San Diego:
When I last watched Greg Maddux pitch (Last Saturday Night) it was at home on this very computer with the help of MLB.com. Maddux captured his third straight win after going 14 straight starts (5-L,9-ND) without one. His latest win put him on the door step of some more baseball history.
The total is now 353 wins and the next name on the All-Time wins is Roger Clemens at 354. The Rocket (#8 overall) is the final pitcher in Greg's era to be listed above him in MLB victories.
Warren Spahn (Spahn and(Johnny) Sain and pray for rain) is the only other pitcher left on the list that pitched during my lifetime. Spahn pitched until he was 47 back in 1967 and that is when he recorded win #363. I was four years old at the time that Spahn hung up his spikes so my knowledge of his career comes from reading about it. I do know that Spahn won 20 or more games in 13 different seasons!
Clemens on the other hand- I was fortunate enough to meet Roger outside old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore when he was still with the Red Sox's and both of us where a great deal younger. The numbers that Clemens put together over 20+ seasons have been pretty amazing despite the recent legal and moral issues that have surfaced. The list of pitchers that could be considered the best of their/my generation are incredibly limited. Clemens power vs. Maddux ability to locate is a classic contest of contrasting styles.
The tote board is still in Clemens favor at 354-353 as the 7 blown saves on Maddux's behalf this season has turned his pursuit of Kid Nichols (361) into a wait until next year. The Phillies are coming to town Friday night to open a series at Petco Park and when they do, Maddux (6W-8L-11 No Decisions) will take his first run at win #354! I am fortunate enough to be in a position to get to watch the event from behind the Padres dugout.
I don't know if my baseball hero will be successful in his first attempt at catching Mr. Clemens but I know that he will have his day in the sun before too long. Speaking of days in the sun- Kevin Kouzmanoff (Winchester Royals) will be on the field today when Jake Peavy throws today(12:35 PM) for the Friars against the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers. Kouz is one of my favorite VBL alum and I am looking forward to watching him play the next two days.
We brought the camera so that we can take plenty of pics of both San Diego and Petco Park over the next 48 hours. We will get to see both a Day game and a Night game at the ball yard plus a little of one of my favorite cities in the US...
Spahn was from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and that should sound familiar to VBL/Wrangler fans as it is the home of Drew Rucinski (Ohio State). Rucinski was one of the pitching stars of the 2008 VBL champs...