Skip to main content

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 70

Guillermo "Willie" Montanez played with the Phillies from 1970-1975, then again in 1982. Montanez made his Major League debut as an 18-year-old, with the Angels, in 1966. The Angels had selected Montanez as a Rule 5 draft pick out of the St. Louis system, but were forced to return Montanez to the Cardinals when they couldn't keep him on their Major League roster all season.

Four years later, Willie was traded to Philadelphia to complete an earlier deal involving Tim McCarver, Richie Allen and Cookie Rojas, when Curt Flood refused to report to the Phillies. Montanez appeared in 18 games with Philadelphia in 1970, before winning a spot as the everyday centerfielder for the Phillies when he impressed manager Frank Lucchesi with a strong spring training the following year. Montanez was originally a first baseman, but made the switch to the outfield to gain playing time.

In 1971, Montanez finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting, to the Braves' Earl Williams, when Montanez posted a .255 batting average, slugged 30 homers and drove in 99 runs. The following season, Montanez led the National League in doubles with 39.

The Puerto Rico native Montanez was widely considered a hot dog, due to his habit of making stabbing one-handed catches in the field and twirling his bat on the way to the plate.

A year later, with the arrival of Del Unser and the departure of Deron Johnson, Montanez returned to his natural position of first base. That season, Montanez batted over .300 for the first time, leading the Phillies with a .304 average. Montanez also had a 24-game hitting streak in 1974.

In May 1975, the Phillies traded Montanez to San Francisco for a 25-year-old outfielder named Garry Maddox. Montanez finished that split season with a career season high 101 RBI. That wasn't enough to lock himself into a place with the Giants, however, as Montanez would play for 6 more teams (Braves, Mets, Rangers, Padres, Expos and Pirates) in the next 6 seasons. Montanez became an all-star with Atlanta in 1977, when he batted .287, hit 20 homers and knocked in 68 runs.

After being released by the Pirates in 1982, Montanez returned to Philadelphia to finish the season, appearing mostly as a pinch hitter. He retired following the season.

___________________________________


Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.



BallHype: hype it up!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frosty Phillies Favorites: 2021 Edition w/ DJ Stewart

Season's greetings to all of you! It's that time of the year to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Every year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holidays.  This year, we focus on just one up and coming player, corner infielder DJ Stewart. The 22-year-old righty batter had a solid season in 2021. In 94 games combined with Class A Clearwater and Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, Stewart notched a .265 batting average with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and five stolen bases.  Recently, I talked with DJ to gain his feedback on all of his holiday favorites. Read ahead for that interview... -What's your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite is This Christmas.  My Mother and I would watch it together every Christmas, so it just stuck with me. -What is your favorite Christmas song and which version is best? This Christmas by Chris Brown.  It's the final song of my favorite Christmas movie. -What's your favorit

Franco making case for September call up

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd While the minor league season begins to wind down, Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco continues to go full throttle. As the IronPigs kicked off their final home stand of the season on Saturday with a double header against the division rival Syracuse Chiefs, Franco, who is hoping his season continues on beyond the final day on the regular season calendar, which is Labor Day, September 1st, continued to display his improved offensive efforts going 6-for-7 with two home runs combined in two games while recording a cycle in the night cap. The feat was certainly quite an achievement, but possibly more impressive because it was accomplished in just six offensive innings for the winning home club in game 2, as minor league double headers are slated as seven-inning contests. Franco, who turns 22 years old this week, struggled through the early part of his first Triple-A season, ending June with a .202 batting average and just 28 extra-base hits

Biddle slated to make Reading return on Saturday

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd After a miserable stretch of starts in June, lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle was placed on Double-A Reading's temporary inactive list. On Saturday, he'll make his long awaited return to the FirstEnergy Stadium mound when he starts the first game of the Fightins' scheduled double header against Binghamton. The 22-year-old posted a 0-4 record with a 12.64 ERA in four June starts. It was clear that there was something quite wrong with Biddle, who had missed a start in late May after being pelted with hail and suffering a concussion. A mixture of feelings including confusion and anger were firmly settling in while Biddle's efforts on the mound were not. The Phils saw a need for the Philadelphia native and Germantown Friends School product to take a break. Exams discovered lasting impact on Biddle stemming from the concussion and time off was required. "For me it was an important time not only to take a mental break and to go down