Garry Maddox

Garry Maddox
Maddox in 1974
Center fielder
Born: (1949-09-01) September 1, 1949
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
MLB statistics
Batting average .285
Home runs 117
Runs batted in 754
Career highlights and awards

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

Early life

Maddox served in the United States Army in the Vietnam War in 1969-1970.

Playing career

Minor Leagues and military service

Maddox, a 1968 San Pedro High School senior in Los Angeles was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the 1968 amateur draft. Maddox missed two seasons due to his service 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.[1]

San Francisco Giants

Maddox 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 after the Phillies had failed in their efforts to acquire Rusty Staub from the Mets. The Phillies traded Montanez with the intention to replace him at first-base with Dick Allen.[2] Maddox went on to win his first Gold Glove Award as the top center fielder in the National League. Montanez was traded away the next year.

Philadelphia Phillies

Maddox's 1975 Gold Glove was his first of eight in a row. His sparkling defensive 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," which was an original quote reported by Ray Didinger at the Bulletin in a 1975 article. (This quote has also been attributed to Ralph Kiner,[3][4] as the Hall-of-Fame slugger-turned-broadcaster for the New York Mets quoted Didinger's 1975 article.) Kalas also 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 East, their first postseason berth since the Whiz Kids in the 1950 World Series. But the team lost three consecutive National League Championship Series, including in 1978 against the Los Angeles Dodgers as Maddox made two errors in Game Four. With the score tied in the bottom of the tenth inning, two out, and Ron Cey on first, Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker's fly ball. He started back on the ball, then charged forward, and the ball glanced off his glove. Bill Russell then followed with a single to center. Maddox charged, but the ball skipped past him; had he fielded the ball cleanly, he could have thrown Cey (who was not known for his baserunning speed) out at the plate. Instead, Cey scored the winning run to put the Dodgers in the World Series.

In the 10th inning of the fifth and final game of the 1980 NLCS against the Houston Astros, his double scored Del Unser for the pennant-winning run. In the bottom half, he caught Enos Cabell's fly ball for the final out to put the Phillies in the World Series for the first time since 1950. The Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals for their first World Championship.

In 1983 the Phillies again made it to the World Series losing this time to the Baltimore Orioles. In Game 1 the score was tied one to one until Maddox led off the eighth inning with a solo home run. The final was two to one and the Phillies' only win of the series.

Maddox continued to win Gold Gloves, steal bases and hit well for the Phillies until 1985, when he declined rapidly. He retired in 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 did hit 337 doubles and 62 triples, products of the speed that also allowed him to run down fly balls few outfielders could reach, and to steal 20 or more bases in nine straight seasons. For his career, he had 248 stolen bases, which in August 2014 ranks 232nd on the all-time list.

Post-playing career

After retiring, he founded World Wide Concessions, a leading national promotional products company specializing in unique branded gifts and packaging. 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.

Maddox has also worked as a spring training instructor for the Phillies, and was a color analyst for Phillies games on Philadelphia's now-defunct cable-sports network PRISM from 1987 to 1995. His son, Garry Maddox, Jr., also played professional baseball, but did not reach the major leagues.[5]

Maddox is a 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 Compete 360, an academic enrichment program founded by Maddox to foster DT Philly, a design thinking (DT) practice in Philadelphia public schools that trains teachers to facilitate DT projects with their students.

In 2005, Maddox and other individuals became prominent investors in a Foxwoods slots casino proposed for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6] In September 2008, facing massive opposition at the originally proposed waterfront location, backers for the slots casino decided to try to seek a new location in the Center City area, next to Philadelphia's Chinatown community.[7] On December 16, 2010, the Gaming Control Board voted to revoke the casino's license after the venture failed to secure funding.[8][9]

See also


  1. Smith, Claire (February 18, 1991). "On Baseball; Maddox Maintains Community Ties". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  2. Bernstein, Ralph (May 5, 1975). "Phillies Deal Montanez to Giants for Maddox". Lewiston Daily Sun. Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. Associated Press (AP). p. 18. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  3. "Quotebook". The Los Angeles Times. October 7, 1978. "Broadcaster Ralph Kiner on Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Garry Maddox: 'Two thirds of the world is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox.'"
  4. Barber, Red. "Catbird Seat: Touching the Bases in Modern-Day World Series". The Tallahassee Democrat. October 22, 1978. "My strongest memory of the recent days was in the tenth inning of the fourth playoff game when the Dodgers eliminated the Phillies. Playing centerfield for Philadelphia was Garry Maddox, one of the best fielders in baseball. Ralph Kiner, broadcasting on CBS Radio, said: "Two thirds of the earth is covered by water. Maddox covers the other third."
  5. "Garry Maddox, Jr.: Minor, Mexican & Independent Leagues Statistics & History". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  6. Foxwoods Philadelphia website, listing investors Archived January 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Gates, Kellie Patrick (October 9, 2008). "DiCicco gets earful at Foxwoods forum". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  8. Wittkowski, Donald (December 16, 2010). "Gambling panel revokes license for proposed Foxwoods casino project in Philadelphia". Atlantic City Press. The Press of Atlantic City Media Group. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. Pennsylvania gaming regulators revoked the license for a proposed Philadelphia casino Thursday that would have been a potentially powerful competitor...
  9. "Foxwoods license revoked" Archived March 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., The City Paper. December 16, 2011. Accessed June 8, 2011

Further reading

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