The Cubs won't be back from the All-Star Break until Friday, but you don't have to wait until then to get your baseball fix. In fact, Wednesday's game might be even better than the real thing. That's because, on the even of its 10th anniversary, CSN Chicago will air the Cubs game from July 17th, 2004 vs. the Milwaukee Brewers (or is it Broors, I never can remember).
Yes, you get to see Rey Ordonez, Corey Patterson, and even the great Paul Bako in all their glory. Of course, the Cubs of a decade ago also featured Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou, and Derrek Lee, among others. Even so, none of those players are the reason for the re-broadcast, though three of them did go yard in the contest.
No, CSNC is showing this particular game because of a guy named Greg Maddux, who was back with the Cubs in his second go-round. Though his Cy Young days were well behind him, you'd never have known it from teh way Mad Dog pitched on that mid-summer night.
In tossing a complete game shut-out, Maddux threw only 103 pitches, 71 of them for strikes. He faced only 30 batters, scattering 6 hits while striking out 4. Classic Maddux, dominating without being dominant, a man who operated on the mound like a surgeon but had the mundane appearance of a Little League coach.
We've talked and written about it quite a bit: the Cubs appear to be building and turning things around. We watch games with our focus on the future. On Wednesday night, CSN Chicago will take us all back to a time when things were a little different.
Right now, any excitement regarding the Cubs centers firmly on the kids, prospects who have a world of potential yet to explore. But for at least a few hours, we can re-live a time when the focus was on players whose potential had already been tapped, who had and were excelling on the biggest stage. We do need to continue looking forward, but sometimes it's nice to take a little peek at the past.
“Greg Maddux Hall of Fame Classic,” part of a special All-Star break programming lineup, will air on CSN Chicago on Wednesday, July 16th at 7pm CST.
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