Bill Madlock

Bill MadlockBill Madlock

Bill Madlock

Chicago Cubs (1974-1976)

  • Cubs career batting average of .336 tied 1st all-time 
  • 4 NL Batting Average titles (2 with Cubs) (1975, 1976, 1981, 1983)
  • Co-MVP, 1975 All Star Game (with Jon Matlack)
  • 3-Time All-Star (1975, 1981, 1983)
  • 1979 World Series Champion (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Yesterday's Cubs, Today's Metrics:

Reviewing Cubs third baseman in the team's history, there was really only one other 3B that seemed to be a pretty good comparison to Bill Madlock.  The third baseman for the 1984 Cubs, Ron Cey.  

It really surprised me that Bill Madlock was so much better than Cey, according to the numbers.  

Name                           PA       HR   R     RBI   SB    AVG OBP SLG  WRC+   WAR

Bill Madlock           1662   31 210   202  35    .336  .397 .475 137         11.1

Ron Cey                    2108   84 250   286     4    .254  .337  .447 110          5.6

I would've thought that Ron Cey would have compared better than he did with Madlock, but he numbers show that Madlock was much better Madlock compiled a WAR that was nearly twice as high as Cey and his Cubs career was  shorter than Cey (11.1 WAR to 5.6).  The primary advantages Madlock had over Cey was his stolen base numbers and a significantly higher batting average.  I was also surprised to see that Madlock had a higher slugging %, the one area I thought Cey would have an advantage in.  Both players were not good defensively that impacted their overall WAR negatively.  Madlock's 137 WRC+ is well above the MLB average of his time and Cey's was an above average 110.  The more you look at the numbers, Bill Madlock was a great 3B for the Cubs that unfortunatley had a very short career with the team.  

Originally drafted by the St Louis Cardinals on June 5, 1969, Madlock had his best years with the Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates and ended his career with a very respectable .305 career batting average that included 4 National League Batting Average titles. 2 of those 4 batting average titles came with the Cubs in 1975 and 1976.  In 1974, Madlock batted .314 with the Cubs & finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting. Madlock's other 2 batting titles came in 1981 and 1983 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Madlock's final game with the Cubs in 1976 (he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Murcer and Steve Onitveros) was quite an exciting way to finish his Cubs career.

Madlock's Final Game of 1976:  A batting title on the line!!

Going into the game, Madlock was hitting .333 while Cincinnatti Red's OF, Ken Griffey (Sr.) had a lead of .004 points at .337. A four point swing after a season worth of at bats is not easy to overcome, but Madlock pulled it off going 4 for 4 with 4 singles while Griffey who did not start the game, went 0 for 1 with a strike out in one pinch-hitting plate appearance.

The Cubs have only had 2 batting title champions since Madlock's 2 titles in 3 years with the Cubs. Bill Buckner captured the NL batting title in 1980 with a .324 batting average and Derrek Lee taking the NL batting title in 2005 with his .335 batting average.

Bill Madlock-This Day in Chicago Cubs History

April 17, 1974
Something tells me the wind was blowing out at Wrigley on this day as the Cubs beat the Pirates 18-9. Catcher, George Mitterwald hits 3 home runs and drives in 8 runs. Rick Monday, Jerry Morales & Bill Madlock hit home runs as well.

The next Cubs catcher to hit 3 home runs in one game is Dioneer Navaro in 2013.

April 20, 1974
At Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia, the Cubs defeat the Phillies 5-4 in 13 innings.  Bill Madlock goes 4 for 6 with a run scored and 2 RBI, including the game-winning hit, driving in Billy Williams with a single in the top of the 13th inning.

May 1, 1974
Cubs lose to the Astros 11-7 in Houston, but Bill Madlock has a big day going 4 for 5 with double, home run, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.

August 1, 1974, Game 1
In New York, the Cubs sweep the Mets in a doubleheader.  In game 1, Bill Madlock goes 4 for 5 with a double and an RBI in a 7-4 10 inning victory.  Madlock's 10th inning single began the Cubs 3-run rally that won the game.

August 3, 1974
At Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, the Cubs defeat the Pirates 4-3.  Bill Madlcok goes 4 for 4 driving in 2 of the Cubs 4 runs and scoring one other.

August 28, 1974
Cubs are trailing the Dodgers and Don Sutton 6-2 into the 8th inning, but load the bases when Cubs manager, Jim Marshall pinch hits Bill Madlock for Carmen Fanzone.  Madlock hits a pinch hit grand slam to tie the game 6-6, but Cubs can't hold the lead when another pinch-hitter, this time Willie Crawford for the Dodgers wins the game for the Dodgers with a sacrifice fly scoring Steve Garvey.  The Dodgers defeat the Cubs 7-6 in Los Angeles.

September 24, 1974
In game 1 of a doubleader, Both Rick Monday & Bill Madlock hit solo home runs in the 1st and 6th innings.  In total, Madlock goes 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI as the Cubs defeat the Expos at Wrigley Field.  Cubs lose the 2nd game 11-2.  


April 16, 1975
At Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the Cubs defeat the Phillies 9-3.  Bill Madlock goes 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI.

April 17, 1975
At Veternas Stadium in Philadelphia, the Cubs defeat the Phillies 10-9.  Bill Madlock goes 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI.

April 23, 1975
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the phillies 9-3.  Bill Madlock goes 2 for 3 with 2 walks, a double and 4 RBI.

April 24, 1975
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Phillies 4-1.  Bil Madlock goes 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.

May 7, 1975
In Montreal, Bill Bonham and the Cubs shut out the Expos 7-0 (Bonham gives up just 3 hits).  Bill Madlock goes 4 for 5 with a triple, one run scored and 2 RBI.

June 3, 1975
Cubs defeat the Giants 6-5 in 10 innings on a walk-off double by Bill Madlock driving home Jose Cardenal.  Madlock also hit the game tying home run in the ninth inning.  For the day, Madlock goes 3 for 5 with a walk, double, home run, 1 run scored and 2 RBI. 

July 15, 1975
Bill Madlock's 2-run, bases loaded, 9th inning single gives the NL a 5-3 lead as NL defeats AL 6-3. Madlock shares game MVP honors with Mets pitcher, Jon Matlack.

July 26, 1975
Bill Madlock goes 6 for 6 with 3 RBI, but it's not enough as Mets defeat Cubs 9-8

July 27, 1975, game 1
In game 1 of a doublehader at Wrigley Field, the Cubs defeat the Mets 4-2.  Bill Madlock goes 2 for 4 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.  The Mets split the doubleheader getting a 4-1 victory in 10 innings in the 2nd game. 

August 12, 1975
At Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnatti the Reds defeat the Cubs 12-8.  Bill Madlock collects 4 singles in 5 at bats, scores 2 runs and drives in 1.

August 31, 1975  game 2
In game 2 of a doubleheader, Bill Madlock scores the game tying run when Jerry Morales drives in Madlock and Jose Cardenal to tie the game 8-8.  In the bottom of the 10th inning, Madlock is walked intentionally in front of Jose Cardenal who wins the game with a walk-off single. 

September 24, 1975

Both Tom Seaver & Rick Reuschel pitch 10 scoreless innings before the Cubs load the bases in the bottom of the 11th inning and the game ends when Skip Lockwood walks Bill Madlock scoring Rick Monday with the walk-off walk.  Cubs defeat the Mets 1-0 in 11 innings at Wrigley Field. 


April 17, 1976
The Cubs take an early 12-1 lead against the Philadelphia Phillies, but the
Phillies slowly start to catch up primarily because of Mike Schmidt home runs.
With the Cubs leading 13-12 going into the 9th inning, the Phillies score 3 runs  to take a 15-13 lead. Steve Swisher helps the Cubs come back in the bottom of the ninth with a 2-run single to tie the score 15-15. But Schmidt hits his 4th home run of the game in the 10th inning, the Phillies score 3 and after the Cubs manage  just one run in the bottom of the tenth inning, the Phillies win 18-16.

Swisher was one of a few hitting stars for the Cubs on this day. Rick Monday had 4 hits, 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Bill Madlock had 3 hits and 3 RBI.

May 5, 1976
Cubs & Dodgers have a high scoring game at Wrigley Field that the Dodgers win 14-12.

Rick Monday hits 2 home runs and drive in 6 runs. Bill Madlock & Steve Swisher each gets 4 hits & Champ Summers has 3 hits and 4 RBI.

June 18, 1976
Bill Madlock's 7th inning grand slam helps the Cubs defeat the Braves 6-4 in Atlanta.

August 1, 1976  
Bill Madlock doesn't get a hit, but scores both Cubs runs in a 10 inning 2-1 victory over the Cardinals.  Madlock reaches on an 8th inning walk and Pete Lacock drvies him in with an 8th inning single.  In the 10th, Madlock reaches on a fielder's choice and scores the walk-off run when Lacock again drives him in for the walk-off victory.

August 25, 1976
At Wrigley Field, Bill Madlock drives in 4 of the Cubs 5 runs with a double and a home run as Cubs defeat the Astros 5-1.  Ray Burris pitches a complete game to earn the victory.


National League Batting Average Leaders at Baseball Reference
Bill Madlock career statistics-Baseball Reference