San Francisco Giants: Garry Maddox
"On May 4, 1975, the San Francisco Giants traded Garry Maddox to the Philadelphia Phillies for Willie Montanez."
The Secretary of Defense came to the Phillies in one of the most underrated trades in franchise history which helped seal the Phillies’ first championship.
In a rare early-May trade the Phillies cleared a logjam at first base by trading Willie Montanez to the San Francisco Giants for Maddox, who five years earlier was fighting in the Vietnam War.
Maddox won Gold Gloves in his first eight years with the Phillies, earning him the Secretary of Defense nickname. In 1976 he finished fifth in the MVP race when he hit .330 with 37 doubles and stole 29 bases.
In his first four full seasons with the Phillies Maddox hit at least .280 with 27 doubles and 22 stolen bases, and that was a bad year if he only reached those numbers.
In the 1980 NLCS Maddox hit .300, drove in the game-winning run with a 10th inning double against the Dodgers, and caught the final out to put the Phillies in the World Series for the first time since 1950. During that NLCS he hit
Maddox would play the final 12 years of his career with the Phillies, amassing 1,333 hits, 249 doubles, and 85 home runs as a Phillie. He was inducted onto the Wall of Fame and is considered the second-best center fielder in Phillies history, though perhaps the greatest defender in franchise history.
Things didn’t go as smoothly for Montanez in San Francisco where he only played the remaining 135 games of the 1975 season. He did hit .305 and struck out only five more times than he walked, but the return on investment certainly didn’t match for the Giants.
Montanez would go on to play for the Mets, Pirates, Expos, Braves, Rangers, Padres, and Angels before returning to Philadelphia and playing the final 18 games of his career here.