I might be taking quite a few moments. Because there are so many, I actively hunt these cards out and have amassed a decent amount. This particular grouping is part of a large lot from 2011 that helped kick off this adventure. It contained 40 different cards and I’m positive I paid quite a bit less than $1 each at the time, which is my per card limit for this set (at least when buying singles).
Ready for some box score summarizing skills?
September 29, 1986 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies
Maddux earned his second win in his last start of the 1986 season and his 6th appearance (5th start). That gave him a 2-4 record with a 5.52 ERA. He allowed runs in every game, including 3 over 7 2/3 innings in this winning effort. Of course, things would get better.
July 24, 1987 – Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Our second card is for his last win of the 1987 season. Funny how that works out. It wasn’t his last start, however, as he pitched in 9 more games after this, recording the loss in 6 of them. This win almost didn’t happen. Maddux exited after 6 innings and the Cubs took the lead at the top of the 7th, breaking the 4-4 tie. This would be his last losing season until 2005.
July 29, 1989 – Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets
The 11th win of the year was also his 3rd complete game of the season. The 10-3 final came courtesy of home runs by Damon Berryhill and Ryne Sandberg along with 16 other hits by the Cubs. Maddux (hitting .255 for the year at that point) was 0-4.
September 2, 1989 – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
Another 10-3 win. The Cubs scored 6 runs in the first to support a 7-inning outing with only 1 earned run by Maddux. He probably could have completed the game, since he only had 84 pitches at that time, but with the playoff potential, he likely got some extra rest in the blowout.
September 26, 1989 – Chicago Cubs at Montreal Expos
What are the odds? Another win that is the last start of the season. Maddux helped lead the Cubs to the post season in 1989 and notched 19 wins. They would lose to the Giants in the NLCS, but let’s focus on 3-2 win against the Expos that featured 6 strikeouts by the Professor. Oh, he also ended the season batting .210 (going 0-3 in this last game). He almost didn’t get the win this day, as that third run didn’t arrive until the top of the 8th.
July 27, 1990 – Chicago Cubs at Montreal Expos
Maddux gets his 3rd win in a row and 7th of the year in a much needed zero earned run day. His ERA had run up to 4.74 just a few starts prior, but this two-hitter knocked him down to 4.06. He went 9 innings, but didn’t get the complete game because the first (and only runs) came in the top of the 10th.
May 6, 1991 – Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros
Maddux improved to 4-1 on the year, but only managed 3 strikeouts in 7 innings. Still, the Astros only managed 4 hits against him. Future Cubs TV analyst Jim Deshaies gave up a home run to George Bell and Greg helped his own cause with an RBI stemming from an error in the 4th.
April 20, 1992 – Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Three starts and three wins for the season that saw Topps introduce parallels and indirectly cause this set to live. This was also his third quality start, giving up 3 over 7 innings with 8 K’s and only 1 walk. The Cubs scored 8 and Maddux was one of those with his solo home run off Kyle Abbott. This would be the second homer of his career (out of 5).
October 2, 1993 – Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies
Another last win/start of the season card. Win #20 of the year came against the lowly and brand spanking new Rockies. It was a 10-1 trouncing that gave Mad Dog a 2.36 ERA on his way to the playoffs. He also had 2 hits in the game, raising his average to .165 with that last RBI single in bottom of the 7th.
Can you believe that this is less than 1/4th of one lot I bought? Can you also believe that I’ve bought several smaller lots and one larger lot since then? I’ll need a few more moments — and some more binder space.