Sunday, January 1, 2012

DAHOF Top 100 -- #74 Garry Maddox

I blogged about my deep affection for Garry Maddox on his birthday in September. Not much has changed for either of us since then, other than my sudden realization that his beard would make a superb HAIR-itage design.

From the great baseball blog HARDBALLTIMES:
After making his professional debut in the Giants farm system in 1968, Maddox spent the next two seasons in the Army. While stationed in Vietnam, Maddox was exposed to chemicals that damaged his skin, leaving it highly sensitive to the touch. It became so difficult for Maddox to shave that he grew and maintained a full beard, which became a trademark during his playing career.

The stint in Vietnam did little to affect Maddox’ baseball skills. He returned to the Giants system in 1971, putting up banner numbers for Class-A Fresno. He slugged .562, hit 30 home runs and stole 21 bases. That performance earned him a promotion to Triple-A Phoenix in 1972. By late April, Maddox graduated to San Francisco, where he became the starting center fielder.

Maddox remained a Candlestick Park fixture until 1975, when a glut of outfielders made him expendable. In a regrettable trade, the Giants dealt Maddox to the Phillies for first baseman Willie Montanez. Maddox blossomed in Philadelphia, where he established a reputation as an all-world defender for six postseason-qualifying teams. Winning Gold Gloves every season from 1975 to 1982, Maddox earned the deserving nickname, the “Secretary of Defense.” He became a vital contributor to the Phillies’ 1980 world championship team. Though he walked only 18 times, Maddox hit 11 home runs, stole 25 bases and turned in his usual high-grade performance in center field.

Maddox retired after a six-game stint in 1986; the following year, he moved up to the broadcast booth as a color man on Phillies telecasts. Highly successful in his post-playing days, Maddox has attended classes at Temple University, become a CEO at an office furniture company, served as a director of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, and earned a reputation as an acclaimed barbecue chef.


deal said...

Always a fan - Maddox homered in the first game I ever saw.

Allan Erickson said...

he was a good guy back in HS, much respect! Never got to see him play in the major leagues.

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