Friday, May 4, 2012

On this day... Montanez for Maddox

May 4th, 1975. Anticipating the return of Dick Allen to Philadelphia, the Phillies complete one of the most productive trades in franchise history. They sent the popular slick fielding / bat flipping first baseman named Willie Montanez to the San Francisco Giants for center-fielder Garry Maddox.

Maddox spent the next 11 seasons as the Phils center-fielder developing into a foundational member of the 1980 World Champs. Along the way he establishes himself as the best defensive center-fielder of his generation. Garry Maddox never wore another teams uniform.

On the other hand, Willie Montanez begins a seven year / eight team nomadic odyssey that will take him from San Francisco, onto Atlanta, then to New York, stopping in Arlington, shooting up to Montreal, down to Pittsburgh, and finally back to the Phillies for 18 games in 1982.

Willie had a couple of good seasons for the Giants and made the NL All Star team as a Brave in 1977, but he just couldn't find a permanent home. For those of you that never had the pleasure of watching Willie Montanez play... he had some interesting quirks to his game. Many people were uncomfortable with his "style" and called him a "hot-dog". To me, he was indescribably cool.


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