|Outfielder / Third baseman|
December 21, 1947 |
East Orange, New Jersey
|April 7, 1970, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1980, for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||234|
Elliott Maddox (born December 21, 1947) is an African-American former Major League Baseball American player. Maddox, from 1970 to 1980, played for the Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators/Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets.
Early and personal life
Maddox attended Union High School in Union, New Jersey. He then went on to attend the University of Michigan, and while there took Judaic studies courses. As a junior in 1967, he won the Big Ten batting title with a .467 average. Maddox converted to Judaism in 1975.
Minor league career
In June 1966 he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 4th round of the draft, but did not sign. In June 1968 he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (20th pick) of the draft (secondary phase). In 2 minor league seasons, in 1968 and 1969, Maddox batted .303.
Major league career
As a 22-year-old, he played 109 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1970. In October 1970, he was traded by the Tigers with Denny McLain, Norm McRae, and Don Wert to the Washington Senators for Ed Brinkman, Aurelio Rodríguez, Joe Coleman, and Jim Hannan. In 1972, he stole 20 bases, a career high.
In March 1974 the New York Yankees purchased him from the Rangers. Maddox went on to his finest year in the Majors, finishing 6th in the American League with a .303 batting average and 4th in the league in on-base percentage (.395). He also had 14 assists from the outfield, and came in 8th in the league in Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player voting.
In 1975, he slipped on the field in Shea Stadium and suffered an injury to his knee. He later sued the New York Yankees as his employer, the New York Mets as lessees of Shea Stadium, and the City of New York as owners of the stadium. In the notable decision Maddox v. City of New York, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that Maddox knew of the condition of the grass at the time and decided to play anyway. Therefore, he assumed the risk, and the defendants were found to be not liable for any damages that occurred to him.
In 1975, he batted .307 (.369 against lefties, and .360 with 2 outs, and runners in scoring position) with a .382 on-base percentage, and came in 8th in the league in hbp (7).
In January 1977 the Yankees traded Maddox and Rick Bladt to the Baltimore Orioles for Paul Blair. In November 1977 he signed as a free agent with the New York Mets. In 1980 he led the league in being hit by pitches (6). In June 1981 he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Maddox was an excellent defensive player, who could play both infield and outfield positions. While he played primarily outfield, he also played third base, shortstop, second base, and first base in his career. His fielding percentage in the outfield was better than the league average every year that he played.
In 2007, Maddox was inducted into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame.
- The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes, by Peter S. Horvits, page 100
- "Maddox Fails in Suit". New York Times. November 22, 1985. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- ".". Retrieved August 24, 2011.
Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Elliott Maddox: Major League Outfielder; Black Convert to Judaism". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 267–278. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5. This chapter in Ruttman's oral history, based on a March 9, 2008 interview with Maddox conducted for the book, discusses Maddox's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.