Saturday, January 23, 2010
#230) ELLIOTT MADDOX
Elliott Maddox was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on November 30, 1977. The New Jersey native had been playing with the crosstown New York Yankees in 1975 when he suffered a severe knee injury. Surgeries to that knee had limited his once promising career. Back in 1971, when he was traded to the Washington Senators the legendary Ted Williams, then the club's manager, had projected him as a future batting champion. With the Mets it was a struggle for Maddox to stay healthy. In each of his first two seasons he spent a month on the disabled list with hamstring injuries. No longer a fleet-footed outfielder, Elliott was used almost exclusively at third base during his final season in New York. On February 5, 1981, Maddox was working out at Shea Stadium when he was summoned into the office of General Manager, Frank Cashen. He was informed that the Mets were placing him on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. "I'm still in shock." is what Elliott would tell the New York Times the next day.
After his release by the Mets he joined the Yankees at their spring training camp in Florida. It was upon learning that he would not make the roster there that Elliott Maddox retired from baseball. Following that he worked on Wall Street for seven years as an investment banker, returned to the Yankees in 1990 as a roving coach for two years, and then moved to Florida in August of 1991. There, he became a clinical social worker working with at-risk adolescents. It was through this experience that he found his current calling as a youth baseball coach.
Elliott attended the University of Michigan and while in Ann Arbor, took Judaic Studies courses. He is now an ardent Zionist who has even traveled to Israel to coach youth camps there.
Maddox is perhaps most famous in Shea Stadium history for the lawsuit that resulted from his injury while with the Yankees. During renovations to Yankee Stadium they were sharing the ballpark with our Mets. So it was at Shea his injury occurred while playing on wet field conditions. A $12 million lawsuit followed, but was dismissed when it was ruled the outfielder had assumed the risk by choosing to play.
Elliott Maddox signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 22, 2010.