100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 26 – Garry Maddox

Garry Maddox
Outfielder
1975-1986

Career w/Phillies: .283 AVG / 85 HR / 566 RBI / 189 SB

Eight consecutive Gold Glove awards. Garry Maddox is one of the greatest defensive outfielders in baseball history. He won every one of those Gold Gloves with the Phillies, part of an illustrious 12-year career as the rock in center field. Lovingly called “The Secretary of Defense,” Maddox tracked down balls like a gazelle and thew out runners with a cannon arm, making it look easy every time. Acquired in a trade in 1975 from San Francisco, he made an immediate offensive impact, hitting .330 in 1976. He consistently delivered .280 averages or better throughout much of his Phillie career, hitting for little power (a career-high 14 home runs in 1977) and causing some havoc on the basepaths (a career-high 33 stolen bases in 1978). His many years patrolling center field took a toll, since by 1981 Maddox couldn’t quite hang onto an everyday role. He became an integral platoon bat with still tremendous defensive ability as his career wound down. Maddox retired in 1986 and became an announcer for Phillies baseball shortly after. He has since moved onto business, and is trying to help the Mashantucket Pequot tribe land a casino in Philadelphia.

Comment: An absolutely thrilling player with incredible defensive ability, Maddox was a cornerstone of the Phillies best years. Though he wasn’t a power hitter, he displayed unbelievable consistency at the plate for a few years. He hits No. 26 because his later years just didn’t stack up — if he remained viable in his 30s, he could’ve easily been a top 20 entry.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. ashmidt

    March 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    garry lee maddox, one of the only viet nam vets to play in the majors, that alone puts him in a league of his own with me.last week of april 1975 i was coming back from my honeymoon in hawaii and the plane had a stopover in san fran, and i bought a paper and found out the phillies traded willie montanez for garry maddox and i was pissed. willie was my favorite phillie, it didnt take long for garry lee to win me over though, it may have been one of the best phillie trades ever . a main part of the best phillie era ever.

  2. Greg V.

    March 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    A classic Richie Ashburn post game question: “Garry Maddox, how does it feel to be the second best Phillies center fielder of all time?”

  3. James Kay

    March 1, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    No argument about his exceptional value to the team. But, my foremost memory of him was when he dropped that easy liner off the bat of Dusty Baker in the 1978 NLCS against the pretentious Dodgers. I am afraid he is branded for all time for that one.

  4. deal

    March 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    He Homered in the first game I attended (8/7/77) – Will always be a fan.

  5. Good Night Joe Carter

    March 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    The Phillies would not have been in the 1978 NLCS in the first place without hard working and highly skilled players like Garry Maddox. The Secretary was a class act and a great Phillie who deserves this place on the list.

  6. Shane Victorino

    March 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I would say that I’m 4th best Phillie center fielder of all time…

  7. JimPhils

    March 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    “Two-thirds of the Earth covered by water. The last third covered by Gary Maddox.”

  8. Tom G

    March 1, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Best sports quote of all time…thank you Mr Kiner

  9. Mr. Phil

    March 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Ah, what a class guy and a terrific center fielder. I used to love watching him patrol the outfield and come up with key hits. I know he dropped that liner in the playoffs, but he was so good that his play overshadowed that one gaffe, as crucial as it was. He is beloved in Philly and I enjoy seeing him at CBP, still looking like he could play.

  10. Phan in TN

    March 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

    He was magical and I confess that I didn’t really appreciate him til he was gone. I think he was the only one capable of standing right behind the pitcher and still getting absolutely everything in the outfield.

    Greg Luzinski was in left field and was responsible for a ten foot radius around him. Maddox would magically appear wherever that ball was about to land. I saw so many plays where the good secretary of defense would deny hit after hit after hit.

  11. Sargentone

    March 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Growing up playing centerfield in little league, Garry Maddox was king. I could not hit a lick, but I could cover the outfield like Kelly Leek, so I identified so much with Garry. Never flashy, always fundamental. Class act on and off the field. He is the only player I ever wanted to collect everyone of his baseball cards. He is the only player I own a customized jersey of. He’ll always be #1 on my list.

  12. EDDIE COLLINS JR,

    May 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    HI GARY:
    IF YOU GET THIS ,I HOPE, I AM ONE OF YOUR BIGEST FANS SINCE YOU SIGNED UP WITH THE PLILLIES, AND IN 1980 I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH A BAD KNEE AND I CALLED YOU TO WISH YOU GOOD LUCK BEFORE YOU STARTED THE WORLD SERIES TOUR, AND MY WORDS TO YOU WAS THIS IS YOUR YEAR, GO TO IT, I TOLD YOU THAT I HAD TO GET A TOTLE KNEE OPERATION THEN AND YOU SAD GOOD LUCK AND GO FOR IT AND I DID THAT IS WHAT I DID AND I HAVE HAD GOOD LUCK SINCE YOU SAID THAT TO MY, THANK YOU PAL, WHEN YOU WERE TALKING TO ME ON THE PHONE THAT DAY, I ASKED YOU TO PLEASE SEND ME A AUTOGRAPHED BALL FROM YOU, I THANK YOU FOR THAT, THAT DAY YOU SAID YOU WERE IN THE CLUB HOUSE AND YOU GUYS WERE HAVING A PERTY AND THE MUSIC WAS LOUD, THAT BALL IS RIGHT HERE WITH ME AND KEEPING ME GONE SINCE, I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A AUTOGRAPH TEAM PHOTO OF YOU ON LINE AND IN ALL MLB STORES BUT I SEEMS LIKE YOU LEFT THE FACE OF THE EARTH, MUT NOW I AM LOOKING FOR YOUR TALK STATION AND CAN NOT FIND IT, I YOU CAN, PLEASE SEND ME A EMAIL WITH IT, IT WAS NOT THE SAME SEEING THE WORLD SEARIES GAME AND THE PARAIDE WITH OUT THERE, GOOD LUCK TO YOU BIG GUY IN YOUR GOOD MANY YEARS, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A GOLDING GLOVE HERO TO ME PAL.
    EDDIE COLLINS JR
    5249 WESTFORD RD.
    PHILADELPHIA PA, 19120
    215-681-9183
    marjones01@comcast.net

  13. Matt

    August 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I vaguely remember the Phillies being involved in a rundown play (they were on defense). The putout ultimately was made by Mr. Maddox, at home plate. Does anyone have more info on this?

    Thanks

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