By A.J. Hayes
They haven’t been teammates since Jimmy Carter’s swansong year in the White House, but when John “The Count” Montefusco and Ed “Ho-Ho” Halicki got together this past weekend and saucily ribbed each other like a couple of high schoolers – one might have suspected the tart-tongued former Giants pitchers were still Candlestick Park locker mates.
“So when we got on the plane I flushed Ed’s socks down the toilet!” – John Montefusco, on one of his Giants days pranks
Though they haven’t spent much time together since 1980, Halicki and Montefusco have a world in common.
Each former pitcher was born in New Jersey in 1950. They were both signed by Giants scout Buddy Kerr in 1972 and made their major league debuts with San Francisco two seasons later in 1974. Each was a classic clubhouse prankster.
And each ace threw no-hitters for the Giants. Halicki, fired his, a 6-0 win over the New York Mets at Candlestick Park on August 24, 1975. The Count, earned his no-no, a 9-0 domination of the Braves in Atlanta on September 29, 1976.
No Giant has pitched a no-hitter since Montefusco’s bicentennial year masterpiece.
In between bites of mini-pizzas, pigs- in- blankets and other hors d’oeuvres and reacquainting themselves with former teammates such as Jim Barr, Mike Sadek, Tom Griffin and Elias Sosa – Ho-Ho and the Count told us what it was to be a Giant in the 1970s.
Montefusco, on hiding Halicki’s socks in St. Louis:
Ed had just beat St. Louis on the road in 1977 and we were headed to the airport to fly back to San Francisco. Ed had a date that night back in the city and boy, was he dressed to kill. He was hot and all sweaty and was the last one to come out of the locker room and he’s yelling ‘I can’t find my socks!’ He’s looking all around and going, ‘someone took my fucking socks!’ – so he ended up putting on these bright orange sanitaries (baseball socks) that we started wearing as part of the uniform that season – so he’s all dressed to kill, but he’s got on these orange socks… well he gets on the bus and the guys start screaming at him ‘cause he was late getting on the bus and Bill Madlock is sitting there laughing at him.
Ed goes up to Madlock and screams “you better give me back my fucking socks!”