Willie Montanez

Signed as a first baseman by St. Louis in 1965, lefthanded Willie Montanez was lost to the Angels in that November’s draft, but was returned to the Cardinals in mid-1966. On April 8, 1970, he was sent to the Phillies with pitcher Bob Browning as compensation for Curt Flood‘s failure to report the previous October. Used in centerfield in lieu of Flood, Montanez hit a career-high 30 homers and drove in 99 runs as a rookie in 1971. He led the NL with 39 doubles and 22 outfield assists the following year. Returning to first base, he became the flashiest fielder at that position since fellow Puerto Rican Vic Power; famous for his snap catches, Montanez was widely considered a hot dog. He led NL first basemen in assists with the Phillies and Giants in 1975; with the Giants and Braves in 1976; and with the Mets in 1978. His wide-ranging, aggressive play also led to a league-leading 22 errors in 1976. He batted more than .300 each year from 1974 to 1976, but hit .287 in his All-Star 1977 season with Atlanta. He was traded nine times; twice the deals involved John Milner.