I haven’t had much time to blog recently, but things should pick up a little around here this weekend. In honor of today’s retirement by the Cubs of the number 31 in honor of both Greg Maddux and Fergie Jenkins, I thought I’d take a look at how their ten seasons each as Cubs stack up in terms of wins above replacement:
Obviously, there are a lot of parallels between the two. Both pitched ten seasons for the Cubs. Both wore number 31. Both were great control pitchers, striking out more than 3000 and walking less than 1000. But Fergie had the better Cubs career, putting up 53.5 WAR over ten seasons with the team versus Maddux’s 31.4.
That said, I think the Cubs are right to retire the number in honor of them both. Putting aside whether it should have been retired before Maddux wore it, even though Fergie had the significantly better Cubs career, Maddux was a hall of famer who played ten seasons with the team and is one of the best pitchers to ever play. If you’re going to retire the number, he probably deserves to be honored, too.