Friday, January 22, 2010

Bill Monbouquette (#234)

Bill Monbouquette was a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox during the early 1960s. He was traded away (to Detroit) before the Red Sox were in the 1967 World Series, and was also traded away from the Tigers before they made it to the 1968 series. What bad luck!

Bill was signed by the Red Sox in 1955. After 3 1/2 seasons in their farm system, he made his big-league debut in July 1958, making 10 appearances (8 starts) that season. The following year, he was with the team for the entire season, as a starter and reliever.

In 1960, Bill began a string of 6 seasons as one of the Sox' top starters. He was a 20-game winner in 1963. Conversely, his 18 losses in 1965 led the league in that category.

After the 1965 season, Monbouquette was traded to the Tigers for what appears to be a bag of beans. Boston got two players immediately, and a player to be named later: Second baseman George Smith played only the 1966 season in Boston (his last season in the majors). George Thomas was a serviceable backup outfielder who played with the Red Sox into the 1971 season. A year after the trade, Boston also got catcher Jackie Moore, whose major-league career consists of 21 games with the Tigers in 1965. For that collection of jetsam, Detroit got Monbouquette, who had just won 86 games in the previous 6 seasons, and pitched 65 complete games during that span. Talk about a fleecing!

Hmm... maybe it wasn't so bad. After a year and 6 weeks with Detroit, Bill was released on May 15, 1967. Later that month the Yankees signed him. In July 1968 he was traded to the Giants for pitcher Lindy McDaniel. After the season he was sold to the Astros, who then returned him to the Giants before the 1969 season. The Giants promptly released him.

After all his success in Boston, Bill went a combined 18-21 in 89 games over the last 3 years of his career, traveling from Detroit to New York to San Francisco.

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