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John Joseph Montefusco Jr. (born May 25, 1950), nicknamed "The Count," is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from 1974 to 1986 for the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees.

John Montefusco
John Montefusco - San Francisco Giants.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1950-05-25) May 25, 1950 (age 68)
Long Branch, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 1974, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
May 1, 1986, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record90–83
Earned run average3.54
Strikeouts1,081
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Contents

Baseball careerEdit

Named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1975, Montefusco's nickname was "The Count", a pun on his last name which sounds like Monte Cristo. In his 13-year career, his record was 90-83, with 1,081 strikeouts, and a 3.54 ERA. He was a National League All-Star in 1976, winning a career high 16 games that year.

On September 3, 1974, Montefusco entered his first major league game as a relief pitcher. Not only was he the winning pitcher that day[1], he also hit a home run in his first major-league at-bat[2]. He is one of only a handful of pitchers to do so, and is one of two players to both hit a home run in his first at bat and win the Rookie of the Year Award. The other is Wally Moon.

Before a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 4, 1975, Montefusco guaranteed he would win the game. He proceeded to throw a shutout as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 1–0.[3]

On September 29, 1976, Montefusco threw a no-hitter for the Giants in a 9-0 victory versus the Atlanta Braves. It was the last no-hitter to be thrown by a Giant until Jonathan Sánchez threw one on July 10, 2009. [1]

Legal issuesEdit

In October 1997, Montefusco was arrested and charged with beating his former wife of 23 years Doris,[4] whom he had recently divorced, in her Colts Neck, New Jersey home.[5][6] He was held on $60,000 bail and was charged with aggravated sexual assault, making terroristic threats, assault, burglary and criminal mischief.[6] Montefusco was indicted in December 1997 and was held on $1 million in bail.[7]

Montefusco was released on bail in November 1999 after serving more than two years behind bars, and in February 2000, he was acquitted of the most serious charges and found guilty of criminal trespass and simple assault and sentenced to three years of probation.[8]

In 2001, a U.S. district judge in Trenton, New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit filed by Montefusco against the ESPN network. Judge Anne Elise Thompson ruled that being compared to O. J. Simpson is not defamation.[9] During a March 19, 2000 broadcast on ESPN's "SportsCenter 2000," Doris Montefusco had likened her ex-husband to Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. An ESPN announcer during the broadcast had paraphrased Montefusco's ex-wife as saying "the only difference between this and the O.J. Simpson case is that she's alive to talk about it. Nicole Simpson is not."[9]

Coaching careerEdit

At the time of his October 1997 arrest, Montefusco had been a pitching instructor for the Tampa Yankees, a minor league team.[6] He later spent several years as the pitching coach for the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball until resigning in September 2005.[10]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hurte, Bob. "John Montefusco". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "John Montefusco Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Haft, Chris and Cash Kruth (August 10, 2010). "Montefusco familiar with guaranteeing wins". Giants.MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Montefusco can count on it: If news story is true, it's not defamatory - SportsBusiness Daily - SportsBusiness Journal - SportsBusiness Daily Global".
  5. ^ "Archives - Philly.com".
  6. ^ a b c Mckinley, Jesse (20 October 1997). "NEW JERSEY DAILY BRIEFING; Ex-Yankee Pitcher Is Arrested" – via NYTimes.com.
  7. ^ Staff, From; Reports, Wire (21 December 1997). "Lipinski Impressive in Olympic Tuneup" – via LA Times.
  8. ^ The Associated Press (5 February 2000). "PLUS: COURT NEWS; John Montefusco Put on Probation" – via NYTimes.com.
  9. ^ a b "News from the National League".
  10. ^ "Patriots bring in Jeff Scott as pitching coach - OurSports Central".

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