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john montefusco, 1977 topps #370, giants

Player: Montefusco, John

Card: 1977 Topps #370

Position: RHP

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Hailing from Long Branch, NJ, John Joseph Montefusco Jr. (nicknamed "The Count,") was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1974 to 1986, most notably as a member of the San Francisco Giants, with whom he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award and pitched a no-hitter in September 1976. John also played for the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and the New York Yankees. His nickname is a pun on his last name which sounds like the classic book (The Count of ) Monte Cristo.

John signed as a free agent with the Giants in 1972; despite a great pitching record at a community college and experience in semi-pro ball, he attracted no draft interest. He pitched well in the minors, going 9-2 for the Decatur Commodores in 1973 and 15-12 with two teams in 1974.

He earned a September call-up in the latter year, and in his debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 3, 1974 he became one of only three players in big league history to homer in his first at-bat (a 3 run shot) and win the game as a pitcher. Overall, he went 3-2 in seven games with San Francisco that year. He was a National League All-Star in 1976, winning a career high 16 games that year.

Tragically, The Count was arrested in October 1997 and charged with aggravated sexual assault, making terroristic threats, assault, burglary and criminal mischief after beating his ex-wife, Doris. He served more than two years behind bars before a November 1999 release. In February 2000, he was found guilty of criminal trespass and simple assault, receiving three years of probation. Prior to his arrest, Montefusco was the pitching coach of the Tampa Yankees. After his release, he served as pitching coach of the Somerset Patriots from 2001 to 2005.

A lawsuit filed by Montefusco against ESPN was dismissed in 2001 after a judge ruled that being compared to O.J. Simpson does not constitute defamation.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1976 Topps #30 Autographed
1976 Topps #30
1978 Topps #142
1979 San Francisco Giants Team Issue Police #NA
1979 Topps #560
1980 Topps #185
1981 Topps #438
1982 Topps #697
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #73


John is part of the Born in New Jersey Tour – go to the Next Stop

The Count is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

John is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

John is also part of the New York/SF Giants Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

John is also part of the Braves Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

“The Count” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all John’s baseball cards at TCDB

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