Bob Montgomery (baseball)

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Bob Montgomery
Catcher
Born: (1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 70)
Nashville, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 1970 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 9, 1979 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average .258
Home runs 23
Runs batted in 156
Teams

Robert Edward "Bob" Montgomery (born April 16, 1944) is a former American baseball catcher who played ten seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Nicknamed "Monty",[1] he played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox from 1970 to 1979. He batted and threw right-handed and also played six games at first base.

Montgomery signed for the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1962 and played for seven of their minor league affiliates until 1970, when the Red Sox promoted him to the major leagues. There, he served as the team's backup catcher behind future Hall of Fame member Carlton Fisk. He spent the next nine years with the Red Sox and played his last game on September 9, 1979. Montgomery is most famous for being the last major league player to bat without wearing a batting helmet.

Personal life[edit]

Montgomery was born on April 16, 1944, in Nashville, Tennessee.[2] Baseball played a huge role in his family; his father frequently took part in sandlot ball, while his brother Gerald played for several minor league affiliates of the Boston Red Sox. Montgomery attended Nashville's Central High School. Although he actively participated in three sports, he was most inclined to baseball, playing in the oufield, at first base and pitching.[1]

Upon his graduation from high school. Montgomery was signed by George J. Digby, a renowned scout who worked for the Boston Red Sox organization.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Montgomery began his professional baseball career for the Olean Red Sox, a minor league baseball team that were members of the New York–Penn League.[3] Playing both third base and the outfield, he batted .273, enough to earn him a promotion to the Class-A Waterloo Hawks of the Midwest League in the following season.[3] It was here that Montgomery was encouraged by manager Len Okrie to switch positions to catcher, in order to improve his chances of being promoted into the major leagues.[1]

Boston Red Sox (1970–1979)[edit]

In 1971, Major League Baseball made it compulsory for all players to wear batting helmets, although active players like Montgomery were allowed to continue batting without one per a grandfather clause. Montgomery opted to utilize this privilege, choosing to strengthen the inside of his cap with protective lining instead.[4] Due to this unique circumstance, Montgomery ended up being the last major league player to bat without wearing a batting helmet when he played his final game on September 9, 1979.[1]

In 387 career games, he compiled a .258 batting average with 23 home runs and 156 runs batted in.[2]

Post-playing career[edit]

After his playing career, Montgomery spent fourteen seasons (1982 through 1995) as the color commentator for Red Sox telecasts on WSBK-TV.[5] Montgomery now owns and operates Big League Promotions which manufactures game boards using professional sports licensing.[6] He has also served as a color analyst for telecasts of the minor-league Pawtucket Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on NESN and Cox Sports.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nowlin, Bill. "Bob Montgomery". The Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Bob Montgomery Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Bob Montgomery Minor League Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Toman, Chris (October 27, 2012). "Minor League pitchers could wear helmets in 2013". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ Larcen, Donna (April 1, 2010). "Bob Montgomery At Foxwoods Baseball Party April 1". Hartford Courant. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Monty relished his backup role". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. July 10, 2005. 

External links[edit]