Monday, January 02, 2006

January 2nd, 1951

Bill Madlock Born

Madlock was an infielder for, primarily, the Cubs and Pirates in the seventies and eighties. Although he initially had something of a poor reputation, notably for sitting down against the league's tougher pitchers, Madlock would evolve into a quality player and one who would win four batting titles. Those four batting titles are relevant for a pair of reasons. For one, Madlock won the first of the two with the Cubs in 1975-76 and the second pair for the Pirates in 1981 and 1983. This was notable (above-and-beyond the four-time batting champion thing in general) as it made Madlock the first--and so far only--player to have won a pair of batting titles with two different teams.

Of course, this is all rather embarrassing for me because until I started looking into his numbers, I didn't know Bill Madlock from a hole in the ground. I was actually going to do a little list here of other players who had won four (or more) batting titles and demonstrate how Madlock has somehow managed to slip through the cracks. My attempts at this however, were foiled, when I discovered there were at least two other players who had won four (or more) batting titles without my having heard of them. Now, to be fair, one of them played in the 1880s, but still. There aren't that many batting titles that have been awarded and I'm wholly unaware of men who collectively won twelve of them. But with Bill Madlock done and blogged, it's one down, two to go.

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