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January 24, 2014

No logos for Hall of Famers Maddux, La Russa

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The Daily Star

---- — COOPERSTOWN (AP) — Greg Maddux and Tony La Russa will not have logos on their National Baseball Hall of Fame plaques, the Cooperstown shrine announced Thursday.

The Hall also announced that team logos will be displayed on the plaques of Joe Torre (New York Yankees), Tom Glavine and Bobby Cox (Atlanta Braves), and Frank Thomas (Chicago White Sox).

The six will be honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 27 at the Clark Sports Center. Former managers La Russa, Torre and Cox were elected last month by the Hall’s Expansion-Era Committee. The others were chosen this month by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America via the Players’ Ballot.

Of the 300 previous Hall members, 86 have caps with logos and 42 have no caps.

Maddux began his big league career with the Chicago Cubs from 1986-92, winning the first of his four Cy Young Awards in his final season at Wrigley Field. He was with the Braves from 1993-03, winning Cy Youngs in his first three seasons in Atlanta, then returned to the Cubs from 2004-06. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres from 2006-08.

“I feel good about it. I spent half my career in Chicago and half of my career in Atlanta,” Maddux said during a media conference in Arlington, Texas. “I love both places. Obviously, I feel like I had more success as a Brave. We did get a World Series there, but I kind of came up a Cub. For me, I couldn’t pick. I really couldn’t. ... So I’m going to go in neutral, I guess.”

Hall President Jeff Idelson said a logo makes sense for those “whose most compelling contributions clearly took place with one team” and not having a team logo is “equally acceptable” for those whose careers were built significantly among multiple teams.

“Regardless of the selection, a Hall of Famer belongs to every team for which he played or managed, as well as every fan who followed his career,” Idelson said.

La Russa managed the Chicago White Sox (1979-86), the Oakland A’s (1986-95) and St. Louis (1996-11), winning World Series titles in 1989, 2006 and 2011.

“The Chicago White Sox gave me my start in the game as a big league manager for my first eight seasons in my 33-year managerial career,” La Russa said. “In Oakland, we recorded four first-place finishes in 10 years, winning three pennants and a World Series. And in St. Louis, our clubs won three pennants and two titles in 16 years. It’s the totality of the success of each of those three teams that led me to Cooperstown, so I am choosing to not feature a logo so that fans of all clubs can celebrate this honor with me.”

Torre managed the Yankees from 1996-2007, winning World Series titles in 1996 and from 1998-2000. He also managed the New York Mets (1997-81), Atlanta (1982-84), St. Louis (1990-95) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-10).

“When I became the manager of the New York Yankees, it was an opportunity to realize my lifelong dream of winning the World Series,” Torre said. “We were fortunate enough to succeed in our first season in 1996, and in the years that followed, we wrote some great new chapters in Yankee history.”

Decisions were relatively simple for the others.

Glavine pitched for the Braves from 1987-2002 and in 2008; he spent 2003-07 with the New York Mets.

Choosing the Braves was easy for Glavine, who said he knew it had to be a tough decision for Maddux because of his time with the Cubs. Still, Glavine said he is surprised that Maddux chose no logo.

“It still was a lot of fun for me to be his teammate,” Glavine said before the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the BBWAA.

Cox managed the Braves from 1978-81, managed Toronto from 1982-85, then returned to Atlanta as general manager. He became the Braves’ manager again in 1990 and stayed through 2010, leading Atlanta to 14 straight division titles and a World Series championship in 1995.

Thomas was with the White Sox from 1990-05, then split 2006-08 between Oakland and Toronto.