With his snatch catches and slow home run trot in which he shuffled his feet and jumped on each base Willie Montanez was the very definition of a hot dog during his 14-year career. His brief tenure with the Mets was no different.
The Mets acquired Montanez on December 8, 1977 as part of a multiplayer four team trade. As their everyday first baseman in 1978 he quickly became a fan favorite not only for his colorful antics but more so for his productivity at the plate. He hit just .256 but managed to lead the team with 17 home runs, 96 RBIs and 32 doubles. His most productive game occurred on May 24 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs.
Montanez returned in 1979 but did not enjoy the same success. He was hitting just .234 with 5 home runs and 47 RBIs when the Mets made the decision to part ways with him. He was traded to the Texas Rangers on August 12 in exchange for Ed Lynch and Mike Jorgensen.
Montanez appeared in 268 games for the Mets and hit .247 with 22 home runs and 143 RBIs.
While with the Mets Montanez wore number 25.
Willie Montanez also played for the following teams:
California Angels – 1966
Philadelphia Phillies – 1970-1975,1982
San Francisco Giants – 1975,1976
Atlanta Braves – 1976,1977
Texas Rangers – 1979
San Diego Padres – 1980
Montreal Expos – 1980,1981
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1981,1982