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Bill Madlock, Jr. (born January 12, 1951 in Memphis, Tennesseemarker) is a former Major League Baseball player. From 1973 to 1987, Madlock was the only right-handed hitter to win a National League batting title. His record of four batting titles as a third baseman would be eclipsed in 1988 by Wade Boggs. Since 1970, only Tony Gwynn has won more National League batting titles (eight).

Early life

Raised in Decatur, ILmarker for most of his life, he played organized baseball in the Decatur youth leagues and all star teams and graduated from Eisenhower High School in Decatur in 1969. At Eisenhower, he played 4 years of basketball, baseball, and football. From 1973 to 1987, he played for the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers.


In a 15-season career, Madlock, nicknamed “Mad Dog,” compiled a .305 batting average with 2008 hits, 163 home runs and 860 runs batted in.

Washington Senators

Madlock was drafted by the Washington Senators in the 5th round of the secondary phase of the 1970 amateur draft. He made his debut with the Texas Rangers (who had moved from Washington after the 1971 season) on September 7, 1973, and played 21 games with them, batting .351. After the season, Madlock and Vic Harris were traded to the Cubs for Ferguson Jenkins. Madlock replaced Ron Santo as the Cubs’ third baseman and hit .313, the highest average for a Cubs third baseman since Stan Hack batted .323 in . In Madlock won his first batting title with a .354 average. On July 26 of that year he went 6-for-6 during a Cubs’ loss to the New York Mets. He also made the first of his three All-Star appearances and shared Game MVP honors with Jon Matlack.

Batting averages

In Madlock repeated as batting champion with a .339 average, edging out Ken Griffey, Sr. of the Cincinnati Reds on the final day of the regular season (October 3, 1976). In an 8-2 win over the Montreal Expos, Madlock collected four singles to raise his average from .333 to .339, one point ahead of Griffey. Griffey belatedly entered his team’s game (which the Reds won 11-1 over the Atlanta Braves, and went 0-for-2, dropping his average to .336. After the 1976 season, Madlock was traded to San Francisco in a deal that sent Bobby Murcer to the Cubs. Madlock, an average fielder at best, was moved to second base, and batted “only” .302 and .309 in and respectively. In June of , the unhappy Madlock was traded to Pittsburgh and won a championship with a Pirates team with stars Dave Parker and Willie Stargell. Madlock returned to third base and batted .328 with the Pirates during the regular season and .375 in the World Series.

In Madlock's average dropped to .277 as the Pirates finished third in the National League East, eight games behind the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. For Madlock, the season became infamous for an incident during a May 1 game against the Montreal Expos at Three Rivers Stadiummarker. Madlock poked umpire Jerry Crawford in the face with his glove after being called out on strikes with the bases loaded. National League President Chub Feeney fined Madlock $5,000 and suspended him 15 games. Madlock appealed the suspension and remained in uniform before finally serving the suspension on June 6, after National League umpires threatened to eject him from every game he tried to play in.

Batting titles

Madlock won two more batting titles, in and , making him the first player to win multiple batting titles with two different teams. Afterwards, however, his play mirrored the decline of the team. In August 1985 the Pirates traded him to Los Angeles which, like Pittsburgh in 1979, was contending for a division title. The Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS but Madlock hit three home runs in the loss. In the Dodgers traded Madlock to Detroit, where he again earned a trip to the postseason. Madlock became a free agent at the end of the 1987 season and played for the Lotte Orions in Japanmarker in . In and Madlock was a coach with the Detroit Tigers. In 2001, Madlock was invited by Omar Moreno, his former Pirate teammate, to coach in a professional league in Panama City, Panama.

Madlock held onto the Pirates batting title crown from 1983 until 2006 when Freddy Sanchez won it on the last day of the 2006 season for Pittsburgh.

“Mad Dog”

Madlock also had a fiery temper, and was involved in several incidents (including the 1980 episode) that exemplified it:

  • August 16, : In the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at the Astrodomemarker, Madlock was ejected for arguing with umpire Art Williams on a close play at first base in which Madlock was called out. He was ejected by not only Williams but also home plate umpire Bruce Froemming, who overheard Madlock's angry profanity-laden tirade.

  • Spring training, : Madlock, as a Giant, got into a clubhouse fight with John Montefusco after interrupting an interview with the pitcher. Afterwards, Madlock ripped Montefusco: "I've heard and read where Montefusco has said this team is a team of losers."

As a player, Madlock was ejected from 18 games. [165956]

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