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Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor

Position(s):
2B, 3B, DH, SS, CF, OF, RF, LF, 1B
Nicknames:
The Ignitor
Born:
August 22, 1956
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
185 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-07-1978 with ML4
Allstar Selections:
1987 HA, 1987 SS, 1988 SS, 1993 BR, 1993 SS, 1993 WsMVP, 1996 SS, 1997 LG, 1998 BRA
Hall of Fame:
2004

Intro

A great hitter with quick wrists, Paul Molitor finished in the top ten in batting 11 times. He starred for several seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before finding post-season success with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993. He was one of the best World Series performers in history and retired with more than 3,300 hits, 230 homers, and 500 steals. Molitor battled injuries early in his career, but had great years in his thirties, when he played primarily as a designated hitter.

Unform Number

#4 (1978-1992, 1996-1998), #19 (1993-1995)

Minor Leages

In the June 1977 Draft, Harold Baines (White Sox), and Bill Gullickson (Expos) were selected #1 and #2 in front of #3 Molitor. Also selected in that draft was Danny Ainge, by the Blue Jays in round #15.

Replaced By

His last job was as the Twins' DH in 1998. The next season, Marty Cordova and Todd Walker platooned in that role for Minnesota.

Best Season

Molitor had other years when he was healthier and accumulated more hits and runs, but in '87 he was a hitting machine when he was in the lineup. In the middle of July he started his 39-game hitting streak, which helped him bat .353 for the season. He also had career-highs in SLG (.566), and OBP (.438). Despite playing just 118 games, he scored 114 times, plated 75 runs, and had 62 extra-base hits, including 41 doubles. He led the AL in runs and doubles. On July 26, Molitor tied a major-league record with three stolen bases in the first inning. The Brewers were 76-41 with him in the lineup, 22-23 without.

Factoid 1

On September 12, 1993, Molitor drove in his 100th run of the year in the Blue Jays 4-1 win over California. In so doing, he became the oldest player in major league history to post his first 100-RBI season.

Transition

June 7, 1977: Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st round (3rd pick) of the 1977 amateur draft; November 9, 1987: Granted Free Agency; January 5, 1988: Signed as a Free Agent with the Milwaukee Brewers; October 30, 1992: Granted Free Agency; December 7, 1992: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays; November 3, 1995: Granted Free Agency; December 5, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins; October 28, 1997: Granted Free Agency; December 6, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins; October 26, 1998: Granted Free Agency.

Strengths

Hitting for average and extra-base power, and also running. Molitor was quite fast.

Weaknesses

He was fragile early in his career. After his rookie season, Molitor spent time on the diabled list 10 times in his next nine years with Milwaukee.

Milestones

On September 16, 1996, Molitor became the 21st player in major league history to collect 3,000 hits, tripling in the fifth inning against Jose Rosado of the Royals. No other major league player had tripled for his 3,000th hit. Molitor also became the first man to collect 200 hits in the same season he reached 3,000.

Feats

Molitor hit safely in 39 consecutive games from July 16 to August 25, 1987. The streak was the longest in baseball since Pete Rose's 44-gamer in 1978. It was the longest AL streak since Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game streak in 1941.

End of The Streak

On August 26, 1987, Molitor went 0-for-4 in Milwaukee's 1-0, 10-inning win over the Indians, ending his hitting streak at 39 consecutive games. His streak was the seventh longest in ML history and the longest in the AL since Joe DiMaggio's 56-game streak in 1941. Molitor faced Cleveland rookie John Farrell all four times, and was on deck when Rick Manning ended the game with a run-scoring pinch single in the bottom of the 10th.

Notes

In three straight games in September of 1979, Molitor produced the game-winning hit for the Brewers. His single beat the Mariners, his homer defeated the Angels in the ninth inning, and his seventh-inning double beat the Angels the next night.

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