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Nick Maddox

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Nicholas Maddox

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nick Maddox was the Mark Fidrych of his day minus the eccentricities, having a terrific but very short career. Maddox debuted in 1906 with the Cumberland Rooters. In 1907, he was with the Wheeling Stogies (going 13-10 but allowing only 47 runs in 29 games) before he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates later in the year. He completed all six of his starts as a 20-year-old rookie, going 5-1 and pitching a no-hitter. He won his first four starts, something no other Pirate would do until Gerrit Cole in 2013. His ERA was 0.83 and he only allowed 32 hits in 54 innings. He was the youngest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter; his September 20 gem was just his third major league start. Through 2013, he is still the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the major leagues. Errors by Maddox and Honus Wagner allowed the Brooklyn Superbas' Emil Batch to score a run to in the game, but Pittsburgh won 2-1. It would be 44 years until the next Pirates no-hitter. Maddox had not allowed a hit in his previous two innings and would not allow one in his next two frames. John McGraw said: "He seems to have everything that winning pitchers should possess."

In 1908, he went 23-8 for the Pirates and was fourth in the National League in both wins and winning percentage, although his ERA was nothing special (2.28, but just a 100 ERA+ in the height of the Deadball Era). He also hit .266/.310/.362 for a 114 OPS+. It was a tough year health-wise as he battled typhoid fever in June.

With the Pirates in 1909, he went 13-8. He was among the NL's top 10 in shutouts (tied for 9th with 4), fewest walks per 9 IP (4th at 1.73) and WHIP (7th at 1.043). On the other hand, he hit 15 batters, second to Harry McIntire. He won Game 3 of the 1909 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Ty Cobb got two hits off him, Donie Bush got four hits, and Jim Delahanty got three, but Maddox pitched a complete game and had a shutout going into the bottom of the 7th.

In 1910, though, his major league career was over. He appeared in 20 games, starting only 7, with a 3.40 ERA which was somewhat higher than the league ERA that year of 3.02. His hitting also dropped off, as he hit only .214, still respectable enough for a pitcher. Before the end of the season, he was purchased by the Kansas City Blues.

The similarity scores method shows the most similar player through 2006 as Seattle Bill James.

Maddox and his wife Elizabeth raised nine children. Maddox worked for Fort Pitt Brewery after his baseball career ended. Like many former major leaguers, he complained about the lack of talent from later performers - "These guys today aren't pitchers - they're throwers... Why, in my day, I'd throw one so fast past that guy Kiner he'd get pneumonia from the wind."

Sources include The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia by David Finoli and Bill Ranier, "The Almost Perfect Recall" by Paul Meyer in the 9/20/07 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1908)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1908)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1908 & 1909)
  • Won a World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909

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