Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1976 Topps #523 - Bob Montgomery

  • Bob Montgomery was a backup catcher with the Boston Red Sox from 1970-1979. Bob signed with the Red Sox after graduating from high school in 1962. He signed as a third baseman but switched to catcher in 1963 after being convinced by his minor league manager that he didn't have the power to make it as a corner infielder. Montgomery slowly made progress in the Red Sox chain and eventually got a chance with the Red Sox in 1970. He made his debut on September 6, 1970 (my fourth birthday) and batted .179 in 22 games. Bob hit his first major league home run on September 11, 1970 off of Jim Palmer.
  • Montgomery split time with Duane Josephson at catcher in 1971 and batted .239 in 67 games. Carlton Fisk was brought up at the end of the 1971 season and locked up the starting catching job by having a good September.
  • Bob became Fisk's backup for the rest of the decade. In 1972 he batted .286 in 24 games. Montgomery batted .320 with seven  home runs (a career high) in 1973.
  • Fisk was injured on June 28, 1974 and Montgomery got a lot of playing time behind the plate. Bob batted .252 in 254 at bats in 1974.
  • Montgomery started the 1975 season as the starting catcher for the Red Sox while Fisk was on the mend from a broken arm in spring training. Bob batted .226 in 62 games during the regular season. Montgomery wasn't used during the 1975 ALCS and only batted once (a pinch hitting appearance in the bottom of the 9th in game 7) in the World Series.
  • Fisk was able to stay healthy through the rest of the 1970s and Montgomery didn't get much playing time. Bob batted .247 in 31 games in 1976 and .300 in 17 games in 1977. Montgomery got in only ten games in 1978 (he batted .241) and 32 games in 1979 (he batted .349).
  • Bob retired during spring training in 1980 when the Red Sox decided to use Gary Allenson as Fisk's backup.
  • Montgomery was the last player to bat without using a batting helmet.
  • After his playing career Montgomery worked in radio for a couple of years doing some sports shows and working as a substitute announcer for Red Sox broadcasts. In 1982 he became the color commentator for Red Sox TV broadcasts on Channel 38 and remained at that post through the 1995 season, when Channel 38 stopped broadcasting Red Sox games.
  • After leaving broadcasting Bob worked in sales and marketing for Unison (a Boston area signage company). He now works for Big League Promotions, which manufactures game boards using professional sports licensing.
  • Bob Montgomery's SABR biography.

1 comment:

  1. I always liked Montgomery (I have a well-known soft spot for backup catchers). As many know, Chuck G. and I inducted Montgomery into the first class of our newly created Backup Catcher Hall of Fame.