Dubbed "The Secretary of Defense," Maddox had such range in the outfield that Mets
broadcaster Ralph Kiner
commented, "Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water,
the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox." Maddox's speed and ability to go
back on the ball enabled him to play shallow and catch many short flies that would
otherwise have been hits. Using an unorthodox, spread-out batting stance, he established
himself as a low-ball hitter who would seldom walk. When rookie Gary Matthews
Maddox and Bobby Bonds
in 1973, San Francisco had one of baseball's best outfields.
Maddox batted .319 in 1973, reached double figures in doubles, triples, HR, and steals,
and had a career-high 76 RBI.
In 1975 Maddox was dealt to the Phillies for Willie
Montanez and won the first of eight straight Gold Gloves; only Roberto Clemente and
Willie Mays won more in the OF. For the following decade, Maddox was the centerfielder
for one of baseball's most dominant teams. Through 1980, he had to compensate for
slow-footed left fielder Greg Luzinski. In 1976 he batted a career-high .330, and
led the NL in outfield putouts (he led again in 1978). His 10th-inning, game-winning
double in Game Five of the 1980 LCS put Philadelphia in the World Series for the
first time since 1950. Injuries, particularly a bad back, curtailed his playing time
beginning in 1982. He retired in May 1986.