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Willie Montanez

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Guillero Montanez Naranjo

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 193 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

1972toppsmontanez.gif

Willie Montanez made his major league debut at the age of 18 with the California Angels in 1966. When Montanez broke into the majors that year, another rookie on the team was 20-year-old Jay Johnstone, who would later team up again with Montanez on the Philadelphia Phillies.

A couple of years later, Montanez, then in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, had the distinction of being the player substituted for Curt Flood when Flood refused to report to the Phillies following his trade from the Cardinals after the 1969 season. The trade gave Montanez the opportunity to play in the big leagues again briefly in 1970, and in 1971 he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting to the Atlanta Braves' Earl Williams. He hit 30 homers that first season, but never came close to matching that total, only hittting as many as 20 one other year.

Montanez played first base and outfield for nine different major league teams. He had a .279 lifetime batting average and was an All-Star in 1977 with the Atlanta Braves. He was a good hitter for average who did not walk much and had only limited power outside of his rookie season.

He made his first Baseball Card appearance in the 1971 Topps set.

Willie played for the Caguas Creoles and the Santurce Crabbers of the Puerto Rican Winter Baseball League.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 1971 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • NL All-Star (1977)
  • NL Singles Leader (1976)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1972)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1971 & 1977)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1971)
  • 100 RBI Season: 1 (1975)
  • 200 Hits Season: 1 (1976)

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