100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 59 – Willie Montanez

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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