Earlier this month, Chicago White Sox great Frank Thomas and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux were both elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
On Thursday, it was revealed which logo the two players, as well as the other four inductees into Cooperstown this year, would be sporting on their Hall of Fame plaques.
For Thomas, the choice was an obvious one, as he opted to have a White Sox logo on the cap his bronze likeness will be wearing. Here is what he had to say about the decision in a statement:
“I was drafted by Chicago in the first round and for 16 of my 19 seasons, I was fortunate to play there. I had wonderful seasons in Oakland and Toronto as part of my career, but my Hall of Fame election is celebrated most by the fans of Chicago and the priceless memories I will always treasure on the South Side, which is why my plaque will feature a Sox logo.”
As for Maddux, many fans and pundits expected his plaque to feature an Atlanta Braves logo, the team with which he spent 11 seasons, won three Cy Young Awards, and captured the 1995 World Series. Instead, Maddux decided to go with no logo at all. Here’s how he explained the decision:
“My wife Kathy and I grew up in baseball in Chicago, and then we had just an amazing experience in Atlanta with the Braves. It’s impossible for me to choose one of those teams for my Hall of Fame plaque, as the fans of both clubs in each of those cities were so wonderful. I can’t think of having my Hall of Fame induction without support of both of those fan bases, so, for that reason, the cap on my Hall of Fame plaque will not feature a logo.”
Maddux’s decision will surely come as a surprise to some, but having spent 10 seasons with the Cubs in his career, it isn’t all that surprising that the pitcher had conflicted feelings about which team to represent in Cooperstown. It is a heartfelt gesture from a pitcher whose departure from the Windy City after the 1992 season left a gaping hole in the Cubs’ rotation, and fans will surely appreciate the act.
Tom Glavine, the other player inducted into the Hall this year, will sport a Braves logo on his plaque, as will manager Bobby Cox, who was one of three inductees voted in by the Expansion Committee. Tony LaRussa, who won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, also opted not to have a logo placed on his cap, as he also spent a good chunk of his career with the Oakland A’s. Finally, Joe Torre, who managed the Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers, decided to have a Yankees logo on his cap.
The induction ceremony for all six players and managers will be held on July 27, as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame’s opening in 1939.