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 Minnesota Twins > Twins Greats > Paul Molitor
     
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Paul Molitor

Born: August 22, 1956, in St. Paul, Minnesota
Primary Position: Designated Hitter
Bats: R  
Throws: R  
Primary Uniform #: 4

Played For: Milwaukee Brewers (1978-1992), Toronto Blue Jays (1993-1995), Minnesota Twins (1996-1998)

Primary Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Post-Season: 1981 ALDS, 1982 ALCS, 1982 World Series, 1993 ALCS, 1993 World Series

Awards: All-Star (7): 1980, 1985, 1988, 1991-1994; 1993 World Series

Most Valuable Player
Elected to Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers in 2004, Player 385 votes on 497 ballots   85.2

Quote:
"Molitor didn't walk across the lake to get here, and he didn't change his clothes in the phone booth. He's just another tough hitter."
-- Doc Edwards

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Biography:

Paul Leo Molitor was born August 22, 1956 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, elected in 2004, his first year of eligibility. He played for 21 seasons, with the Milwaukee Brewers (1978-1992), Toronto Blue Jays (1993-1995) and Minnesota Twins (1996-1998).

Paul played several positions during his career. He started out as a second baseman and then was moved to third base at the age of 25. During the latter half of his career, he was used primarily as a designated hitter, not because of any fielding deficiency but to protect him from injury.

Paul Molitor was part of a young Milwaukee Brewers team which lost the 1982 World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .302 and led the American League with 136 runs scored. He had several seasons early in his career which were severely shortened by injuries, including 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986 and 1987. After moving to designated hitter his injury problems seemed to go away. Paul Molitor was acquired through free agency by the Toronto Blue Jays in December 1992, and was a key part of the Blue Jays second World Championship. He won the World Series MVP award for hitting .500 in the series. He left the Blue Jays after the 1995 season and joined his home town Minnesota Twins for the final three seasons of his career.

His return to his hometown to finish out his career was a fitting tribute to this great player. The Twins picked him up as a free agent in December 1995.  He drove in 5 runs in his first game in April 1996 despite a terrible 24-11 loss to the Tigers. He got 5 hits again in August as the Twins defeat the Blue Jays 6-4 in 11 innings.

On September 16, 1996, he tripled in the 5th inning of Minnesota's 6-5 loss to Kansas City for his 3,000th big league hit. He becomes the 1st major leaguer to get 200 hits in the same season in which he reached 3,000.

On May 23, 1997, he has another five hit game including a double despite another Twins loss to Oakland, 8-4. On August 8, 1998, Paul gets five hits again and also steals his 500th base. He's only the 6th player with 500 steals and 3000 hits.

Paul Molitor's lifetime statistics include 2683 games played, 1782 runs scored, 3319 hits, 234 home runs, 1307 runs batted in, a .306 batting average, and 504 stolen bases. He batted .368 in 5 postseason series and was an all-star seven times. He was also the first and, so far, only member of the 3,000-hit club to reach 3,000 with a triple.

 On June 11, 1999, the Brewers retired Paul Molitor's uniform number 4. During the ceremony at Milwaukee County Stadium, much to Twins fans dismay, Paul announced that when he went into the Hall of Fame, he would do so as a Brewer. On January 6, 2004, he was elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, with 85.2% of the votes.

In 1999, he ranked Number 99 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. A largely unheralded performer, Paul Molitor received due recognition from his hometown Twins when he came home to his roots and wooed fans and players alike.

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