Red Sox Bill Monbouquette Dies At 78
Kyle Brasseur reported that “the Boston Red Sox announced Monday the passing of team Hall of Famer Bill Monbouquette because of complications from leukemia. Monbouquette, 78, died on Sunday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston” (ESPNBoston.com). The former ace of the Red Sox pitching staff was also honoured by Bill Weber, calling Monbouquette “a stalwart right-handed pitcher for the [team] during one of the leaner periods in the history of the franchise” (NYTimes.com).
Monbouquette was a hometown hero for Boston, coming out of its suburb of Medford, Massachusetts. The fans knew him as ‘Monbo’, and watched him carry his team when they needed him. “He graduated from Medford High School and was drafted by the Red Sox in 1955. He pitched three seasons and part of a fourth in the minors before making his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers on July 18, 1958” (Weber, NYTimes.com). He played eight out of his eleven seasons with the Red Sox. Between 1958 and 1965, Monbouquette earned a record of 96-91, with a 3.69 ERA, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.38, 72 complete games, and 16 shutouts. With a weak team, especially batting-wise, Monbo had to be durable and have control. His 1622 innings logged and walking only “2.1 batters per nine innings over the course of his career” were proof that he possessed those qualities (Weber, NYTimes.com).
“At the end of his playing career, Monbouquette served 38 years as a scout and coach for several teams, retiring from baseball in 2005. In recent years, Monbouquette was a frequent visitor to Fenway Park. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000” (Brasseur, ESPNBoston.com). Monbo’s passing is sad, as it would be for anyone and their families; however, his life should be also remembered for the dependable work and joy he brought to the Red Sox and their fans.
As Boston moves to the 2015 season, a number of new pitchers provide questions as to their durability and control. Some of those pitchers will be free agents in 2016. Will any stay with Boston and become fan-favorites like Monbouquette? Monbo gave so much to the organization and, thankfully, has been remembered by the fans, the media, and the Red Sox. Maybe his passing can be a reminder to pitchers, on any team, what it means to be a real team player.
Thank you, Monbo! And thank you to his family for allowing him the time that he spent with us!