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Monbouquette in 1967
Monbouquette in 1967

William Charles Monbouquette (August 11, 1936 – January 25, 2015) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1958–65), Detroit Tigers (1966–67), New York Yankees (1967–68), and the San Francisco Giants (1968). He was an All-Star for three seasons of his 11-year major league career.[1]

Major League career

Monbouquette compiled 114 wins, 1,122 strikeouts, and a 3.68 earned run average during his major league career.

Although a weak hitter in his 11-year major league career, posting only a .103 batting average (60-for-582), he was a good fielding pitcher, recording a .984 fielding percentage with only seven errors in 428 total chances in 1961.1 innings of work.

Monbouquette was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1955 and started his majors career on July 18, 1958. He won at least 14 games from 1960 to 1963, with a career-high 20 victories in 1963. An American league (AL) All-Star in 1960, 1962, and 1963, Monbouquette no-hit the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on August 1, 1962 at Comiskey Park; a second-inning walk to Al Smith was the only baserunner Monbouquette allowed.[1][2] Monbouquette credited Red Sox pitching coach Sal Maglie with refining his delivery, enabling him to improve his pitching performance.[2]

He also collected two one-hit games, and set a Red Sox record with a 17 strikeout-game against the Washington Senators in 1961. The record stood until Roger Clemens established a major league record with 20 strikeouts in a 1986 game against Seattle.[1]

On September 25, 1965 in a game against the Kansas City A's, Monbouquette was the starting pitcher versus 58-year-old Hall of Famer Satchel Paige. Monbouquette threw a complete game for his tenth win of the season, but became the final strikeout victim of Paige's career in the 3rd inning.

After going 96-91 with Boston, Monbouquette was sent to the Detroit Tigers before the 1966 season. He also pitched for the New York Yankees and finished his career with the San Francisco Giants on September 3, 1968. He never made the postseason.

Monbouquette was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000.[1] He was a pitching coach for Detroit Single-A affiliate team, Oneonta Tigers. Bill was also once professional hockey player Wayne Muloin's brother-in-law. When people would ask him for an autograph, he surprised people because although he pitched and batted right-handed, his hand writing was left handed. [3]

Illness and death

In May 2008, the Boston Globe reported that Monbouquette was suffering from acute myelogenous leukemia. The chemotherapy and drug treatment he received had the disease in remission, but he needed a bone marrow and stem cell transplant to be cured.[4] The Red Sox, in conjunction with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, on June 7, 2008 encouraged fans to enroll in the National Marrow Donor Registry at Tufts University in hopes of finding a suitable donor for Monbouquette and others suffering from the disease.[5]

In 2010, the Boston rock band The Remains released a song, "Monbo Time", as a tribute to Monbouquette. The Remains pledged to donate 50% of the revenues they receive from sales of the song to cancer research. Boston Herald, April 22, 2010;, April 14, 2010)

Monbouquette died on January 25, 2015, aged 78 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Medford Massachusetts.[6] He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford, Massachusetts.

See also

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