Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 16, 2014

Let's hear it for the Greg Maddux/Westport connection

Greensburg Daily News

---- — Dear Editor:

So, baseball pitcher Greg Maddux has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. What’s the big deal, you ask?

The big deal is that Greg Maddux’s story begins in Westport, a town not particularly known for famous personages (extreme modesty forbids me from so identifying this writer).

In using the terms parents and grandparents I readily confess that I may be off a generation, as I’m leaving the necessary research to someone whose business it is to do such things. It shouldn’t be too difficult as I believe some Maddux family members still reside in Westport.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Maddux family’s claim to fame was the fact that they lived in a rundown home a scant two blocks west on Schott Street from the similarly rundown home of the Voiles family, meaning this writer, my parents, and my only sibling, sister Eileen.

Try to remember that these were days of the Great Depression, when almost every family was struggling to just get by.

The Maddux family was headed by “Singer” Maddux. I’m not sure of his real first name at the moment, but I think it was Stanley. It doesn’t matter, he was known to everyone as Singer Maddux.

Singer was thought to be “double-jointed,” meaning he sort of flung his arms and legs about rather loosely when he walked. I’ve often wondered if this trait was handed down and contributed to Greg Maddux’s pitching prowess.

Singer and his misses had a bunch of kids, one of which, depending upon the generation, was either the parent or grandparent of the aforementioned famous Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

An aside: One memory I have of Singer Maddux, who earned his living doing hauling with an old 1 1/2-ton truck, is the day I was helping move a small house from the west end of Westport clear over to the east end. The small house was to be the new home of the mother of Ed Baldwin, husband of my sister. At age 15, I was sitting astride the roof of the house with a pole to lift electric lines, tree limbs and the like off the roof as we rolled slowly along. All went okay until Singer’s old truck began overheating and spewing steam like a local Old Faithful. This called for frequent pauses for the addition of water to the radiator. Oh, by the way, I was astride the roof of that house when I learned of the passing of popular three-term president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Perhaps thats why I have such clear recall of the events of the day. FDR was my dad’s hero.

Anyway, back to Greg Maddux: I would love to read a lengthy story prepared by someone willing to do the research about the Maddux family’s early-to-now history in Westport and elsewhere.

After all, it may be safe to say that Greg Maddux is the most famous person ever whose roots are in tiny Westport, my hometown.

I hope some capable writer will pick up on this. I think Westport should be bragging to the skies about their contribution to the game of baseball.

Best regards,

Norm Voiles