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Paul Molitor

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Paul Molitor

A photo of Paul Molitor.

Paul Leo Molitor (nicknamed Molly or The Ignitor) (born August 22, 1956 in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota) is a Hall of Fame former American baseball player. Molitor played for 21 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers (1978-1992), Toronto Blue Jays (1993-1995) and Minnesota Twins (1996-1998). He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility.

CareerEdit

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

Molitor played several positions during his career. He started out as a shortstop, then moved to second base when the briefly-retired Robin Yount returned (Yount had taken a leave of absence to consider a career as a professional golfer) Molitor then was moved to third base at the age of 25. During the latter half of his career, he was used primarily as a designated hitter, with occasional games at first base and in the outfield. He played 44% of his career games as a DH.

Molitor was part of a young Milwaukee Brewers team that lost the 1982 World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Molitor batted .355 during the series. In Game 1 of the '82 Series, he had five hits, which set a Major League record. During the 1982 season, he hit .302 and led the American League with 136 runs scored. Molitor also attracted national media attention during his 39-game hitting streak, which ended with Molitor in the on-deck circle when Rick Manning got a game-ending hit to beat the Cleveland Indians on August 26, 1987. Fans booed Manning for driving in the winning run and thus depriving Molitor of one last chance to reach 40 games. The streak continues to stand as the fifth-longest in modern-day baseball history, and remains the longest since Pete Rose's 44 game hit streak in 1978. [1]Template:Dead link. Molitor lead in runs scored 3 times (1982, 1987, and 1991). In 1987, he led with 114 runs scored in only 118 games (injured part of season).

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

Molitor was acquired through free agency by the Toronto Blue Jays in December 1992 and was a key part of the Blue Jays second World Championship. Molitor won the World Series MVP Award and tied a World Series record by batting 12-24 (.500) in the six game series.

Minnesota TwinsEdit

He left the Blue Jays after the 1995 season and joined his hometown Minnesota Twins for the final three seasons of his career, where he acquired his 3,000th hit. He is the only player to reach the 3000 hits plateau with a triple. Molitor was relishing the opportunity to play with Twins superstar Kirby Puckett, but Puckett developed career-ending glaucoma during spring training in 1996 and never played again. In 1996, Molitor became the first 40-year-old to have a 200-hit season (225). A rare feat in baseball, Molitor remains the last Major League player to drive in 100 or more runs in a season while hitting less than 10 home runs (9 HR, 113 RBI).[citation needed]

AccomplishmentsEdit

Molitor's lifetime statistics include 2,683 games played, 1,782 runs scored, 3,319 hits, 234 home runs, 1,307 runs batted in, a .306 batting average, and 504 stolen bases. He batted .368 in 5 postseason series and was an all-star seven times. Molitor recorded these statistics while missing nearly 500 games due to various injuries throughout his career.

On June 11, 1999, the Brewers retired Molitor's uniform number 4. During the ceremony at Milwaukee County Stadium, Molitor announced that if he went into the Hall of Fame, he would do so as a Brewer. On January 6, 2004, he was elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, with 85.2% of the votes. True to his word, he joined Robin Yount as the only Hall of Famers to be depicted on their plaques with Brewers caps. At the time of his induction, Molitor was the hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners.[1]

In 1999, Molitor ranked No. 99 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and he was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Molitor is one of only four players in major-league history with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 lifetime batting average, and 500 stolen bases. The other three are fellow Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins. Molitor is the only player ever to accomplish those feats and hit at least 200 home runs. Molitor also is the first man in World Series history to have at least two home runs, two doubles, and two triples in one series (1993).

Personal lifeEdit

During the early years of his career, Molitor began using cocaine and marijuana. He stopped using drugs in 1981, and has since visited schools to lecture about the dangers of drug use.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Stone, Larry. "Man about Cooperstown: Molitor takes his place with game's best", Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 2004-07-25. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  2. Stone, Larry. "Man about Cooperstown: Molitor takes his place with game's best", Seattle Times, The Seattle Times Company, 2004-07-25. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.

External linksEdit


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