UNION, NJ – Elliott Maddox:  One of many notable sports figures from Union.

Elliott Maddox was born December 21, 1948 in East Orange, but grew up in Union.  At age nine, he and his older brother, Willie, joined the Union Little League, according to the Township of Union Historical Society’s website.

Later, while at Union High School, he played shortstop and third base.  He batted cleanup and powered the school team to the state championship in 1966. 

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Scholarship offers arrived from over a hundred universities, including Columbia and Brown.  Maddox chose Michigan due to its combined strength in academics and athletics, and its proximity to relatives in Detroit.

In 1968, as a college sophomore, Maddox won the NCAA Big Ten battling for the title with an astonishing .467 average.  That same year, Maddox was the number one, second round draft pick for the Detroit Tigers.  He was headed to medical school at the time, but switched his major to history, as he found it impossible to complete the pre-med curriculum and play baseball at the same time.

Maddox’s professional experience included the Detroit Tigers (1970), the Washington Senators (1971), the Texas Rangers (1972-1973), the New York Yankees (1974-1976), the Baltimore Orioles (1977), and the New York Mets (1978-1980).

In 2007, Maddox was inducted into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame.

For more information on Union’s history, visit the Township of Union’s Historical Society webpage at http://www.unionhistory.org.