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Garry Maddox
Center fielder
Born: September 1, 1949 (1949-09-01) (age 60)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 25, 1972 for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
April 20, 1986 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average     .285
Home runs     117
Runs batted in     754
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Garry Lee Maddox (born September 1, 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who was known for his outstanding defense.

Maddox was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the 1968 amateur draft, missed two seasons due to military service in the Vietnam War (see below), and reached the major leagues with the Giants in 1972. On May 4, 1975, the Giants traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for first baseman Willie Montañez. That season, Maddox won his first Gold Glove Award as the top center fielder in the National League. Montanez was traded away the next year, so this trade disproportionately helped the Phillies.

Maddox's 1975 Gold Glove was his first of eight in a row. His sparkling play led Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas to remark, "Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox."[1] (This quote has also been attributed to Ralph Kiner, the Hall-of-Fame slugger-turned-broadcaster for the New York Mets.[2]) Kalas nicknamed Maddox the "Secretary of Defense."

In 1976, Maddox had his best year as a hitter, with a .330 batting average, and helped the Phillies win the National League Eastern Division, their first finish in first place in 26 years. But the team lost three straight National League Championship Series, including in 1978, when an uncharacteristic error by Maddox on Dusty Baker's fly ball allowed the winning run to score in the clinching game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would redeem himself in 1980, when his tenth-inning double scored the pennant-winning run, and then caught the final out, for the Phillies in Game 5 of the NLCS, defeating the Houston Astros for the team's first World Series appearance in 30 years. The Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals for their first World Championship.

Maddox continued to win Gold Gloves, steal bases and hit well for the Phillies until 1985, when he fell off badly. He retired early the next season. That year, he was honored with the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player who demonstrates the values the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall-of-Famer (like Maddox, one of the best-fielding outfielders ever) displayed in his commitment to community and understanding the value of helping others.

During his career, Maddox played in six postseasons, winning five full-season Division Titles, two pennants and one World Series, all with the Phillies. His lifetime batting average was .285. Never a slugger, his peak year brought him just 14 home runs, and he hit 117 for his career. But he also hit 337 doubles and 62 triples, a product of the speed that also allowed him to reach fly balls few outfielders could get to, and to steal 20 or more bases in nine straight seasons.

Contents

Retirement

After retiring, he founded World Wide Concessions, and by 1995, Maddox was majority owner and CEO of A. Pomerantz & Company, a Philadelphia-based office furniture company. In 2003, Maddox began a four-year term on the board of Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

He has also worked as a spring training instructor for the Phillies, and was a broadcaster on Philadelphia's now-defunct cable-sports network PRISM. His son, Garry Maddox, Jr., also played professional baseball, but has not reached the major leagues.

Maddox is a renowned BBQ chef, and for a number of years has hosted the Garry Maddox Barbecue Challenge, a yearly fundraiser held outside of Citizens Bank Park before a home Phillies game. Local restaurants and amateur chefs competing in various categories. All proceeds benefit the Youth Golf & Academics Program (YGAP), an academic enrichment program founded by Maddox to support children in grades K-8 who reside in troubled Philadelphia city neighborhoods.

In 2005, Maddox and other individuals became prominent investors in a Foxwoods slots casino proposed for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[3] In September 2008, facing massive opposition at the originally proposed waterfront location, backers for the slots casino decided to try and seek a new location in the Center City area, next to Philadelphia's Chinatown community.[4] As of January, 2009, the casino still does not have a building permit.

Military service

Maddox served in the U.S. Army during the 1969 and 1970 seasons. Exposure to chemicals in Vietnam left his skin highly sensitive, and he has worn a full beard ever since to protect his face.[2]

See also

References

Further reading

External links








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