Maddux announces retirement at winter meetings

Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Greg Maddux officially closed out his illustrious 23-year career by announcing his retirement Monday at a news conference in his hometown of Las Vegas, the site of baseball's winter meetings.

"I'm just here to say thank you to everyone in baseball," Maddux said. "It's going to be hard walking away from baseball, but it's time...I'll miss all of it. I'll miss the game, hitting, pitching, hanging out with the guys, standing at home plate wondering what pitch is coming. The plane rides are fun, playing golf on the road is fun, playing poker with the guys...spring training is always fun, it's where you get to work on baseball stuff."

The 42-year-old Maddux put together an impressive career after making his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs in September of 1986. He spent a majority of his career with Atlanta and also pitched for Los Angeles and San Diego.

Maddux accumulated 355 victories -- eighth-most in big league history -- and is a four-time Cy Young Award winner and an eight-time All-Star selection. He generated 17 straight seasons (1988-2004) with at least 15 wins, with back-to- back 20-win campaigns in 1992-93.

"I'm very proud of what I did on the baseball field, but I'd like to think I'm the same person I was 20 years ago," Maddux said.

Maddux's longevity allowed him to finish 10th all-time in strikeouts with 3,371 despite striking out 200 or more in a season only once (1998). He also ranks fourth in games started (740) and 13th in innings pitched (5,008 1/3).

The Dodgers acquired the right-hander from the Padres late last season for a postseason stretch run, and Maddux helped LA earn a National League Championship Series berth against the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. He combined to go 8-13 with a 4.22 earned run average over 33 starts for LA and San Diego in what was his final season.

"I pretty much knew during spring training this was it," said Maddux. "I told some teammates, I don't know if they believed me, but I didn't want a big dog and pony show."

In 23 seasons with the Cubs, Braves, Padres and Dodgers, Maddux compiled a 355-227 record with a 3.16 ERA in 744 games -- including 109 complete games and 35 shutouts.

"I want to take a year off and spend time with my family and see how I like it. Baseball's all I know," Maddux said.

Maddux, a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer, was a member of one World Series championship team with Atlanta in 1995.

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