COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- Greg Maddux and Bobby Cox sat down together in the plaque gallery at the Baseball Hall of Fame, a sense of awe etched on their faces. Both had been here before, but this visit was entirely different.
Cox spoke Monday after the two had finished the pre-induction tour of the Hall of Fame that all electees receive prior to induction weekend.
The 72-year-old Cox was unanimously elected by the Hall of Fame’s expansion-era committee in December. The 47-year-old Maddux was chosen in January by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Maddux pitched 11 years for the Braves while Cox was Atlanta’s manager. They will be inducted during ceremonies on July 27 along with former Braves left-hander Tom Glavine, Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas and retired managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.
That Cox was Maddux’s manager for so long made the trip north from spring training one they’ll file in the memory bank. Maddux is now a special assistant to the general manager of the Texas Rangers, and his brother is the team’s pitching coach.
Maddux was the consummate ace on the mound, a slick fielder, ace bunter and superb master of the strike zone in a career that produced 355 victories with four teams (he also played a decade with the Chicago Cubs and spent two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and two with the San Diego Padres).
Cox guided the Braves to an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and 15 playoff appearances. When he retired after the 2010 season, Cox, who also spent four years in Toronto, was the fourth-winningest manager with 2,504 victories and trailed only Connie Mack, John McGraw and La Russa.
On the tour, Cox raised his eyebrows when Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections for the Hall of Fame, mentioned that players in the game’s infancy didn’t wear gloves for 40 years.
Both men were accompanied by their wives, who said the whole experience had been sort of surreal.