Bill Madlock

Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock, Jr. (born January 2, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball player. From 1973 to 1987, Madlock was a right-handed hitter who won four National League batting titles. 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). Madlock is also one of only three right-handed hitters to have won multiple National League batting titles since 1960, Roberto Clemente having also won four and Tommy Davis having won back-to-back titles in 1962 and 1963.

Bill Madlock
Bill Madlock - Pittsburgh Pirates - 1983
Madlock in 1983
Third baseman
Born: January 2, 1951 (age 68)
Memphis, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 7, 1973, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.305
Home runs163
Runs batted in860
Career highlights and awards

Early life and family

Bill Madlock was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Decatur, Illinois, where he graduated from Eisenhower High School.[1] His future wife Cynthia attended the same city's Stephen Decatur High School.[2]

At Eisenhower High he played basketball, football and baseball. He received 150 scholarship offers for his skills as a basketball player,[3] around 100 for his skills as a football player [2] and two for his skills as a baseball player.[3] He accepted one of the two baseball scholarships, at Southeastern Community College in Keokuk, Iowa, because of his preference for playing a less hazardous game. His reasoning was clear from what he later told a Sports Illustrated reporter: "I didn't want to have 6'5", 250-pound guys bearing down on me, so I decided to play baseball."[2]

He was considered for the baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969, but would not sign with the Cardinals for two reasons. The first was because he figured he would have a difficult time breaking into the majors as a shortstop given the abilities of the Cardinal shortstop at the time, Dal Maxvill. The second was the delay required by the birth of his daughter Sara in December 1969. By the time Madlock was ready to sign with a major league baseball team, he had decided to go with an offer from the Washington Senators organization.[2]

While an active player with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1983, Madlock's three children, his daughter Sara and his older sons Stephen and Douglas, had earned the nickname "The Mad Puppies" around the Pirates clubhouse. Madlock's fourth child, his son Jeremy, was born in what was described as a "tense delivery" by Madlock, who witnessed it in the delivery room, in that same year.[2]


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.

Early years

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 1945. In 1975 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 1976 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.

Bill Madlock 1986
Madlock at bat in 1986

During the advent of MLB free agency following the 1976 season, Madlock demanded a multiyear contract with an annual salary of about $200,000, but was rejected by team owner Philip K. Wrigley who then announced that Madlock would be traded "to anyone foolish enough to want him."[4] In what was considered one of the five worst trades in Cubs history by the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc in 2016,[5] Madlock and Rob Sperring were dealt to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Murcer, Steve Ontiveros and minor league pitcher Andy Muhlstock on February 11, 1977.[4] Madlock, an average fielder at best, was moved to second base (the Giants already had Darrell Evans at third), and batted "only" .302 and .309 in 1977 and 1978 respectively.

When Madlock, along with Lenny Randle and Dave Roberts was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ed Whitson, Al Holland and Fred Breining on June 28, 1979, he was a starting third baseman again on a ballclub that eventually won the 1979 World Series.[6] He batted .328 with the Pirates during the regular season and .375 in the World Series.

In 1980 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 Stadium. 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.[7]

Batting titles

Madlock won two more batting titles, in 1981 and 1983, making him the first player to win multiple batting titles with two different teams. He also finished second in the National League in batting in 1982, his .319 average bettered only by Al Oliver's .331. 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 1987, the Dodgers released Madlock, who signed a few days later with the Detroit Tigers, hitting .279 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 87 games including a three home run game on June 28, 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 Japan in 1988.

Madlock is the only major league baseball player to have won four batting titles who is not enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

"Mad Dog"

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

  • August 16, 1975: In the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at the Astrodome, 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.
  • May 1, 1976: Madlock was fined $500 for charging the mound after San Francisco pitcher Jim Barr brushed him back with a pitch during a game at Candlestick Park.
  • Spring training, 1978: 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. He was also ejected from three games during his two years as a Tiger coach.[8]

Over time, Madlock's approach to umpires changed. Umpire Jerry Crawford remarked after his 1980 dispute with Madlock that "[t]here's no question [Madlock has] calmed down. He's changed, which is great, because a guy of his ability doesn't have to do the things to umpires that he was doing." Madlock's agent, Steve Greenberg, son of baseball great Hank Greenberg, added that "[t]he Crawford incident was a benchmark. Now if he disagrees with an umpire, he uses his charm, which can be considerable."[2]

Post-playing career

In 2000 and 2001 Madlock was a coach with the Detroit Tigers, reuniting with Tigers manager and former Pirates teammate Phil Garner. In 2001, Madlock was invited by Omar Moreno, another former Pirate teammate, to coach in a professional league in Panama City, Panama. In 2003, Madlock was hired to manage the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League; the team went 117–134 during his two seasons. In 2013, he was announced as the manager of the Independent League Tiffin Saints.

On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Madlock was inducted into the Decatur Public Schools (Decatur, IL) Athletic Hall of Fame during its inaugural ceremony at Frank M. Lindsay Field at Millikin University during the annual MacArthur-Eisenhower Tate & Lyle Braggin’ Rights Football Game.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Bill Madlock". Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Glad Times For Mad Dog". Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Tales from the Cubs Dugout". Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Madlock Goes to Giants As Cubs Obtain Murcer," The Associated Press, Friday, February 11, 1977. Retrieved June 1, 2018
  5. ^ Kuc, Chris. "Top 5 best and worst trades in Cubs history," Chicago Tribune, Friday, July 22, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2018
  6. ^ Ranier, Bill and Finoli, David. When the Bucs Won It All: The 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2005. Retrieved June 1, 2018
  7. ^ "Charlton's Baseball Chronology". Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  8. ^ Bill Madlock
  9. ^ DPS announces the first group to be inducted into their Hall of Fame | NowDecatur

External links

Preceded by
Dan Driessen
Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman
Succeeded by
Larry Parrish
1969 Major League Baseball draft

The 1969 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft took place prior to the 1969 MLB season. The draft featured future Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven (pick 55) and Dave Winfield (pick 882).

1969 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1969 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 88th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 78th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 87–75 during the season and finished fourth in the newly established National League East, 13 games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion New York Mets.

The resurgent Chicago Cubs, featuring players such as Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams and helmed by fiery manager Leo Durocher, led the newly formed NL East for much of the summer before faltering. The Cardinals put on a mid-season surge, as their famous announcer Harry Caray (in what would prove to be his final season of 25 doing Cardinals broadcasts) began singing, "The Cardinals are coming, tra-la, tra-la". However, to the surprise of both Chicago and St. Louis, the Miracle Mets would ultimately win the division, as well as the league championship and the World Series.

1974 Chicago Cubs season

The 1974 Chicago Cubs season was the 103rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 99th in the National League and the 59th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth and last in the National League East with a record of 66–96.

1975 Chicago Cubs season

The 1975 Chicago Cubs season was the 104th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 100th in the National League and the 60th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 75–87.

1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 46th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 15, 1975, at Milwaukee County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League. The game resulted in a 6–3 victory for the NL.

While this was the first time that the Brewers were acting as hosts of the All-Star Game, this was not the first time the game had been played at Milwaukee County Stadium. The 1955 game had been played there when the Braves had called Milwaukee home. Thus, Milwaukee County Stadium joined Sportsman's Park in St. Louis and Shibe Park in Philadelphia as the only stadiums to host All-Star Games with two different franchises as host.

This would also be the last time Milwaukee County Stadium would host the game. When the game returned to Milwaukee in 2002, the Brewers had moved into their new home at Miller Park.

The 1975 All-Star Game saw the start of the tradition of naming honorary captains to the All-Star teams. The first honorary captains were Mickey Mantle (for the AL) and Stan Musial (for the NL).It would also mark the final All-Star Game in which only "The Star-Spangled Banner", sung this year by Glen Campbell, was performed prior to the game. Beginning the following year, "O Canada" would also be performed as part of the All-Star pregame ceremonies.

1977 San Francisco Giants season

The 1977 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 95th season in Major League Baseball, their 20th season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 18th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a 75–87 record, 23 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1978 San Francisco Giants season

The 1978 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 96th season in Major League Baseball, their 21st season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 19th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in third place in the National League West with an 89-73 record, 6 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1979 National League Championship Series

The 1979 National League Championship Series was played between the National League West champion Cincinnati Reds and the National League East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

It was the fourth time in the 1970s that the Pirates and Reds had faced off for the pennant; Cincinnati had won all three previous meetings in 1970, 1972 and 1975.

The Pirates won the series in a three-game sweep in what would be the last postseason appearance for both franchises until 1990.

1979 San Francisco Giants season

The 1979 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 97th season in Major League Baseball, their 22nd season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 20th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a 71-91 record, 19½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

1979 World Series

The 1979 World Series was the 76th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1979 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff, it was played between the National League (NL) champion Pittsburgh Pirates (98–64) and the American League (AL) champion Baltimore Orioles (102–57), with the Pirates becoming the fourth team in World Series history to come back from a three games to one deficit to win the Series in seven games. This marked the second time in the 1970s the Pirates won a World Series Game 7 on the road against Baltimore Orioles, the previous time being in the 1971 World Series. The Pirates were famous for adopting Sister Sledge's hit anthem "We Are Family" as their theme song.

Willie Stargell, pitcher Bruce Kison, and catcher Manny Sanguillén were the only players left over from the Pirates team that defeated the Orioles in the 1971 World Series, and Orioles' pitcher Jim Palmer, shortstop Mark Belanger, and manager Earl Weaver were the only remaining Orioles from the 1971 team. Grant Jackson pitched for the Orioles in the 1971 series and for the Pirates in the 1979 series.

In this Series, it was the American League team's "turn" to play by National League rules, meaning no designated hitter and the Orioles' pitchers would have to bat. While this resulted in Tim Stoddard getting his first major league hit and RBI in Game 4, overall, it hurt the Orioles because Lee May, their designated hitter for much of the season and a key part of their offense, was only able to bat three times in the whole series.

Willie Stargell, the series MVP, hit .400 with a record seven extra-base hits and matched Reggie Jackson's record of 25 total bases, set in 1977.

The 1979 Pirates were the last team to win Game 7 of a World Series on the road until the San Francisco Giants defeated the Royals in Kansas City to win Game 7 of the 2014 Series. They were also the last road team to win Game 7 of a championship round, in any major league sport, until the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2–1 at Joe Louis Arena to win the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. With the Steelers having already won Super Bowl XIII, Pittsburgh also became the second city to win both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year, with the New York Jets and the New York Mets winning titles in 1969. New York repeated the feat in 1986 (New York Mets and New York Giants), as did the New England area in the 2004 season (Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots) and the 2018 season (Red Sox and Patriots).

1985 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Fernando Valenzuela set a major league record for most consecutive innings at the start of a season without allowing an earned run (41).

1985 National League Championship Series

The 1985 National League Championship Series was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers from October 9–16. It was the first championship series played under the new best-of-seven format. In previous years, the NLCS had been settled by a best-of-five format. This series is best known for Ozzie Smith's dramatic walk-off home run in Game 5.

Dodger announcer Vin Scully and former Cardinal player Joe Garagiola called the games for NBC. Both were announcers on the year-long Game of the Week.

1985 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1985 season was the team's 104th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 94th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101-61 during the season and finished in first place in the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets. After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, they lost in seven games in the World Series to their cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals in the I-70 Series. The World Series is known for the infamous "safe" call on the Royals' Jorge Orta by umpire Don Denkinger.

The Cardinals switched back to their traditional gray road uniforms for the first time in ten seasons.

Outfielder Willie McGee won the National League MVP Award this year, batting .353 with 10 home runs and 82 RBIs. Outfielder Vince Coleman won the National League Rookie of the Year Award this year, batting .267 with 107 runs scored and 110 stolen bases. Shortstop Ozzie Smith and McGee both won Gold Gloves this year.

During the 1985 playoffs, the Cardinals used the slogan The Heat Is On, in reference to the song that was released earlier that year.

1987 Detroit Tigers season

The 1987 Detroit Tigers season saw the Tigers make a startling late-season comeback to win the American League Eastern Division on the season's final day. The Tigers finished with a Major League-best record of 98-64, two games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. Detroit lost the American League Championship Series to the Minnesota Twins in 5 games.

This would be the last time the Tigers made the postseason until 2006.

1987 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1987 Dodgers finished the season in fourth place in the Western Division of the National League.

1996 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1996 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players but no one tallied the necessary 75% support.

The BBWAA had petitioned the Hall of Fame Board of Directors on January 5, 1995, to reconsider the eligibility of Larry Bowa, Bill Madlock, Al Oliver and Ted Simmons, each of whom had failed to receive at least 5% of ballots cast in each of their first years of eligibility (Bowa and Oliver in 1991, Maddlock in 1993 and Simmons in 1994). The Board approved, but before the ballot was released, the BBWAA decided not to include them on the ballot after all.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots: Jim Bunning, Bill Foster, Ned Hanlon, and Earl Weaver.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates home run leaders

List of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise home run leaders with 40 or more home runs.(Correct as of March 20, 2019)

Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award is an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award which is presented to the most outstanding player in each year's MLB All-Star Game. Awarded each season since 1962 (two games were held and an award was presented to each game winner in 1962), it was originally called the "Arch Ward Memorial Award" in honor of Arch Ward, the man who conceived of the All-Star Game in 1933. The award's name was changed to the "Commissioner's Trophy" in 1970 (two National League (NL) players were presented the award in 1975), but this name change was reversed in 1985 when the World Series Trophy was renamed the Commissioner's Trophy. Finally, the trophy was renamed the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award in 2002, in honor of former Boston Red Sox player Ted Williams, who had died earlier that year. No award was presented for the 2002 All-Star Game, which ended in a tie. Thus, the Anaheim Angels' Garret Anderson was the first recipient of the newly named Ted Williams Award in 2003. The All-Star Game Most Valuable Player also receives a Chevrolet vehicle, choosing between two cars.As of 2018, NL players have won the award 27 times (including one award shared by two players), and American League (AL) players have won 30 times. Baltimore Orioles players have won the most awards for a single franchise (with six); players from the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are tied for the most in the NL with five each. Five players have won the award twice: Willie Mays (1963, 1968), Steve Garvey (1974, 1978), Gary Carter (1981, 1984), Cal Ripken, Jr. (1991, 2001), and Mike Trout (2014, 2015). The award has been shared by multiple players once; Bill Madlock and Jon Matlack shared the award in 1975. Two players have won the award for a game in which their league lost: Brooks Robinson in 1966 and Carl Yastrzemski in 1970. One pair of awardees were father and son (Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.), and another were brothers (Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar, Jr.). Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim became the first player ever to win the MVP award in back-to-back years in the 86-year history of the MLB All-Star Game when he accomplished the feat in both 2014 and 2015. Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros is the most recent MLB All-Star Game MVP, winning the award in 2018. Only six players have won the MVP award in the only All-Star Game in which they appeared; LaMarr Hoyt, Bo Jackson, J. D. Drew, Melky Cabrera, Eric Hosmer, and Alex Bregman.

Steve Ontiveros (infielder)

Steven Robert Ontiveros (born October 26, 1951) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1973 through 1980 for the San Francisco Giants (1973–1976) and Chicago Cubs (1977–1980). He also played six seasons in Japan for the Seibu Lions (1980–1985). Ontiveros was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He is of Mexican American descent.A solid third baseman with an average arm, Ontiveros was named Minor League player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1973. He reached the majors with the San Francisco Giants late in the season, spending four years with them before being traded to the Chicago Cubs, along with Bobby Murcer, for Bill Madlock before the 1977 season. 1977 ended up being his most productive season for the Cubs, when he posted career-highs in games played (156), batting average (.299), home runs (10), RBI (68), hits (162), and on-base percentage (.390).

On April 17, 1977, Ontiveros broke up a no-hit bid by the New York Mets' Tom Seaver with a bloop single in the fifth inning. It would be Seaver's fifth career one-hit game before finally pitching a no-hitter in 1978 against the St. Louis Cardinals with the Cincinnati Reds. Ontiveros would join Jimmy Qualls, Mike Compton, Leron Lee, and Vic Davalillo as hitters who had broken no-hit bids by Seaver before his no-hitter.

In an eight-season career, Ontiveros was a .274 hitter with 24 home runs and 224 RBI in 732 games. Following his majors career, he played in Japan with the Seibu Lions from 1980 to 1985 and hit .312 with 82 home runs and 390 RBI.

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