Was Garry Maddox’s Famous Hair Style Due to Injuries He Suffered in the Vietnam War?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far.

BASEBALL LEGEND: Garry Maddox’s hair style was due to an accident during his time fighting in the Vietnam War.

Garry Maddox was one of the most acclaimed defensive center fielders of the late 1970s/early 1980s.

He won the Gold Glove Award (for fielding excellence) a remarkable EIGHT times!

He was a big part of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, who won the first championship in team history.

As you can see from above, Maddox was well known for his thick facial hair.

Oddly enough, his hair was not actually a fashion thing (although obviously there was SOME fashion involved).

You see, Maddox served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War in 1969 and 1970, when he was a 19 year old minor leaguer for the San Francisco Giants.

While there, Maddox was exposed to chemicals that he suffered a servere allergic reaction to, resulting in brutal skin rashes that made shaving basically impossible, hence the beard.

To Maddox’s credit, he has never let his experiences get him down, as he is well known as a cheerful guy well liked by all his teammates.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

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