100 Greatest Phillies: 59 – Willie Montanez

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, January 27, 2009 07:40 PM | Comments: 16
100 Greatest Phillies, Posts

Willie Montanez
1970-1975, 1982

Career w/Phillies: .258 AVG / 63 HR / 327 RBI / 11 SB

“Hot dog,” as he was called, Montanez flipped his bat and snapped his wrist regularly, annoying pitchers and opposing players all over the place. He came to Philadelphia as compensation for Curt Flood, the legendary free agent pioneer who didn’t want to play for the Phillies. Montanez was the first to patrol center field at Veterans Stadium, hitting 30 home runs and driving in 99 for a team that finished 28 games under .500. A good fielder, Montanez threw out more than 10 runners from the outfield in both 1971 and ’72. He moved to first base after that, then was traded to the Giants. In return: Garry Maddox. Montanez came back in 1982 to finish his career as a Phillie.

Comment: One of the true colorful characters of the game, Montanez never shied away from the spotlight. He’ll always be remembered as a Vet legend.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 IRONPIGPEN

    Excellent. I had that card!

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Willie had a terrific first year. Not many players made their debut into the big league with a bigger bang than Willie. He hit 30 hrs in that first year and gave the city a slugger in the making?? Hardly, for his hot dogging style, Willie never hit more than 13 hrs in a season for the Phils and never hit as many as 20 until he reached Atlanta later on. In 75 he was traded to the Giants for Gary Maddox. Good trade for the Phils.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    he was before my time but he was always nice guy in the few times i got a chance to meet him.

  • Posts: 0 mde77

    Willies Montenez being ranked 20 spots higher than Bake McBride is a disgrace.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    What a great looking 1973 card. They don’t make them like that anymore.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    I agree, Bake was a better player than Willie, by far.

  • Posts: 0 Monktavian

    Willie played on some awful teams. In fact he was the ONLY entertainment some nights at the Vet when the Phils stunk out the place. He made every play fun and interesting.

  • Posts: 0 maxhole

    yes! i’ve got joe morgan and frank robinson cards from card set

  • Posts: 0 phils 50+

    He was my favorite player on those early 70′s teams. Not the best but colorful, the epitome of hot dog. My buddy and I were at the Vet inaugural game in 1971 and watched from the left centerfield bleachers as he dribbled a baseball on the turf while running out to his position. We were amazed by the bounciness of the turf and laughed at how Montanez enjoyed the show.

    One first baseman teammate of mine used to flip his glove just like Willie did. He was having fun playing the game, just like Montanez. I’ve been waiting to see where he stood in this group of 100. Sure, Shake and Bake was more talented, but Willie the Phillie was entertaining and left a huge impression on me and many other ex-ballplayers and fans.

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    willie the phillie. he was my favorite phillie in the early 70s. he got robbed for the rookie of the year award. i remember him and joe lis in a fight at home plate in a spring training game. they shared a baseball card in 1971. i came home from my honeymoon in hawaii, and they stopped in san fran and i bought a paper and found out about garry maddox for willie.and i was pissed. it didnt take too long for garry lee to win me over though. i never saw anyone dig in at the plate like willie. he sure was fun to watch. truely one of a kind.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Bit before my time so have to ask… Did Willie have balls?

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    hey nj, i was debating to say it or not, yes willie had balls, he knew the pitcher was going to throw right at his head, after hot dogging it after a home run. and he would still dig in at the plate. and alot of times he the dirt, and would still get up

  • Posts: 0 Dwayne

    Anybody that played little league ball around the Philly area when Willie was here wanted to be him. I think that says it all.

  • Posts: 0 PennJerseyForums

    Are there any videos of Willie on YOUTUBE or anywhere else? I loved him.

  • Posts: 0 Alex Straiton

    Watch highlights of 1977 all-star game…..you get a couple of glimpses.

  • I really loved this post. You explain this topic very well. Your turf management company should propose a professional assistance and advice towards the development and care of your athletic fields. Grounds staff can be greatly creative and some have a gift of taking a hopeless playing field and turning it into your very own “field of dreams.” These results encourage your sports teams, but more importantly, instill a community delight and restore spirits.

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