Topps 1975 All-Star Rookie Team: John Montefusco

John Montefusco 1976 001Everyone loves a trophy. In 1960, Topps created an All-Rookie Team and the baseball cards of outstanding young players had trophies added to their pictures.

There were a pair of National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees on the squad 40 years ago along with several all-stars and most valuable players.

The seventh member of the 1975 team to be profiled in the this series is John Montefusco.

John “The Count” Montefusco was signed by the San Francisco Giants as a free agent in 1972 and two years later in was in the big leagues at the age of 24. Montefusco was 3-2 in seven contests with the Giants after a September call up that allowed him to keep his rookie status. He also made some noise with his bat with a pair of homers, including one in his first plate appearance.

In 1975, Montefusco was named the National League Rookie of the Year after posting a 15-9 record with a 2.88 ERA. He joined Wally Moon as the only two players in major league history to hit a homer in their initial at bat and win the Rookie of the Year Award..

The next season, Montefusco made the NL All-Star Team for the only time in his 13-year career as he finished 16-14 with an ERA of 2.84. The righthander tossed two scoreless innings in the NL’s 7-1 win in Philadelphia. He also led the league with six shutouts.

Prior to the 1981 season, Montefusco was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Doyle Alexander. Montefusco signed with the San Diego Padres in 1982 before he was shipped to the New York Yankees a year later just before the end of the season. He finished that year with a 5-0 mark with the Yankees and was 14-4 overall. He eventually played his last game with the Yankees in 1986.

Next up in the series: Dan Ford of the Minnesota Twins.

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