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November 6, 2006

Comments

Gary Ashwill

Wow, this is great! I'm going to pull this out and put it in a post on the main page, if you don't mind.

Patrick: I don't have your email address anymore (and I think mine has changed too). Email me through this site if you want to get in touch.

Patrick Rock

"One Wing" Maddox's real name was Forrest A. Maddox. Born orn 30 November 1897 in Fulton Co., Georgia, he died in Atlanta on 4 August 1929, 31 years old.

According to his draft registration, he had lost his left arm "at the shoulder" (not elbow as previous information had hinted), that it had happened "about 10 years ago" (when he was close to 10), and that he was working in a florist shop at the time of registration.

Despite the loss of his arm, he played and pitched effectively for Morehouse College, and then played five or six years for semi-pro clubs in the south, including the Atlanta Black Crackers, Knoxville Giants, Washington (DC) Braves, and Birmingham Black Barons. It appears that 1923 was his last year in pro or semi-pro baseball.

He earned a degree from Morehouse and served as a professor there until his death.

I found his first name about two months ago via ProQuest (man, am I going to miss that when it goes!) in a story in the Chicago Defender April 21, 1917: “Forrest Maddox, the one-armed pitcher, relieved Nance on Friday and went back Saturday, pitching the twelve-inning game on Saturday.” He won the game for Morehouse College against Tuskegee, 5-4.

I followed up with a check of the 1910 and 1920 censuses, where he was living with parents, Duncan and Julia Maddox. His draft registration was available on Ancestry.com (yes, they registered EVERY male within a certain age group, and classified them afterward).

Here is what the Washington Post said of him in March 1921:

“To the unaquainted it might be well to state that ‘Wing’ Maddox, as a [N]egro pitcher and outfielder, has created a sensation throughout the South for the past two years.

“Although a student at Moorehouse [sic] college, Maddox has been barred from participation in sports with the local college for the reason that he professionalized himself three years ago when he played with the Atlanta Cubs. Last year, as a member of the Knoxville Giants, he demonstrated that few, if any, pitchers possess more in the way of natural ability.

“To make his feats in the box all the more creditable, it is only necessary to mention that Maddox has but one arm. It is not alone upon the mound that the one-armed [N]egro wonder stars. As an outfielder he amazes spectators by the dexterity with which he catches a ball with his one gloved hand, tosses it into the air, removes the glove and with lightning-like rapidity snatches the ball again and relays it to the infield."

I found his death date via ProQuest also, finding it in the Atlanta Constitution.

I think that Scott is correct, however. The previously unknown post-season series might be the big story here.

Gary Ashwill

Nothing else in the Whip. But I just found this (slightly garbled) note in the Baltimore Afro-American (9/24/1920): "Knoxville Giants, Champions of the Southern League, challenged American Giants for World's Championship, and will meet Setp. 21, 22, 23, 23 [sic], at Birmingham; 25 and 26 New Orleans. American Giants then play Birmingham 27, 28, 29 and 30, meet Knoxville at Knoxville, Oct 1, and 2 and final game of series at Chattanooga, Oct. 3rd. They will then meet Bacharachs at New York and return South against A.B.C.'s of Indianapolis."

I know the Bacharachs' game happened, along with the first three Knoxville games in Birmingham. It's not clear whether the further games at New Orleans, Knoxville, and Chattanooga were supposed to be part of the championship series.

Scott

No disrepect, but I think you're burying the lead here. One-Wing Maddox is interesting, to be sure, but the fact you've uncovered a heretofore unreported post-season series (and possibly an early box score for Turkey Stearnes) seems like the bigger story. That's what is amazing about NeL research: For 30+ years there's been intense interest and passionate research, yet somebody in 2006 can still stumble upon a completely undocumented World Series. Nice work again, Gary. Did the whip publish any other boxes, or just the one?

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