Position: Third baseman; Second baseman; First baseman; Designated hitter
Teams: Milwaukee Brewers, 1978-1992; Toronto Blue Jays, 1993-1995; Minnesota Twins, 1996-1998
Paul Molitor broke through in 1979, when
he ripped .322, laced 16 triples, and
pilfered 33 bases.
Molitor played just 13 games in 1984 due to an elbow injury. But in 1987, he returned to form. Batting .353 and topping the AL in runs and doubles, he thrilled the nation with a 39-game hitting streak, which was the seventh longest in major-league history. Tellingly, 1987 was the first season in which Molitor was primarily a designated hitter. Though he returned to the infield for three more solid seasons, he shifted permanently to DH, with the occasional appearance at first, in 1991.
Able to concentrate purely on hitting and baserunning, "The Ignitor" celebrated by batting .325 in '91 while leading the AL in runs, hits, and triples. The following season, he rapped .320 with 89 RBI and cleared 30 stolen bases for the eighth time. After the season, however, he was allowed to leave for Toronto as a free agent.
Brewers management would regret this decision. The extraordinarily popular Molitor had some big years left. Joining the Blue Jays in 1993, he cracked .332 with a league-leading 211 hits. He also tallied 22 homers and 111 RBI and helped Toronto win the World Series. In fact, in six games against the Phillies, Molitor ripped .500 with two doubles, two triples, two homers, 10 runs, and eight RBI.
After two more strong years in Canada, Molitor signed with his hometown Twins. In 1996, at age 40, he again led the AL in hits with a whopping 225. He ripped .341 with a career-best 113 RBI and racked up his 3,000th career safety.
When Molitor retired in 1998, he ranked among history's top ten in hits (3,319) and doubles (605) -- incredible totals given that he played more than 140 games in just eight of his 21 seasons. In 2004, he was voted into the Hall of Fame.
Here are Paul Molitor's major league totals:
|BA||G ||AB ||R ||H ||2B ||3B ||HR ||RBI ||SB |
|.306|| 2,683||10,835||1,782 || 3,319||605||114||234||1,307 || 504|
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- Baseball Hall of Fame Overview
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- How a Person is Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
- List of Baseball Hall of Fame Members
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