Saturday, April 28, 2012

#481 Charlie Maxwell




Charlie Maxwell, a.k.a. "Paw Paw" (he was from Paw Paw, Michigan which honored him in 2010) was known as a clutch hitter who was especially dangerous on Sundays.

Maxwell was originally signed by the Red Sox in 1947 and bounced around their minor league chain, making three limited appearances with the big club, though 1953. He spent the '54 season in Boston, was purchased by the Orioles for the '55 season, made four pinch hitting attempts for the Birds and was sold to the Tigers in May of that year.

He came into his own with the Tigers and played was a solid left fielder there for the better part of eight years. He made a couple of All Star squads and even garnered a few MVP votes here and there. He hit .326 in 1956 to go along with 28 dingers and 87 RBI. He topped that power output with career high homer (31) and RBI (95) totals in 1959. He holds the major league record for extra inning homers in a season. He had five of those in 1960.

In Maxwell's best day at the plate he hit four homers in consecutive at bats in a doubleheader against the Yankees at Briggs Stadium. It was a Sunday doubleheader. Not long after Maxwell was traded to the White Sox in 1962 I was at Yankee Stadium to see him hit three homers in a doubleheader against the Yankees. I remember my Dad, lifelong Yankee fan that he was, being none too thrilled. And yes, it was a Sunday!

My '59 Maxwell card is obviously miscut. Seriously obviously miscut. But it's got Smokey The Bear on the back. 'Smokey' was Maxwell's other nickname. So it's cool.

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