Former Tigers pitcher, coach Bill Monbouquette dies at 78
Bill Monbouquette, a former Red Sox pitching great who pitched parts of two seasons with the Tigers and went on to coach in the system for several years, passed away Sunday following a lengthy battle with leukemia, according to various reports.
Monbouquette was a 20-game winner and authored a no-hitter in Boston, where he’s part of the Red Sox Hall of Fame. He came to Detroit after the 1965 season for Jackie Moore, George Smith and George Thomas, then went 7-8 with a 4.73 ERA in 1966 in 14 starts and 16 relief appearances. The wins included a complete-game shutout of the Washington Senators that April 24 on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Monbouquette ended the season in the bullpen, then made two relief appearances in 1967 before the Tigers released him in May. He returned to the organization years later to serve as a pitching coach in the organization, including at short-season Class A Oneonta. Among his products, according to this obituary from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald, was a young Tigers draft pick named Justin Verlander.
“I thought Verlander was going to need a year in Triple-A,” Monbouquette said in 2007. “But his stuff was just plain nasty. It was just a matter of time with him.”
Monbouquette was reportedly diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2008.