When Greg Montalbano pitched for the Lowell Spinners in the summer of 2000, he was already on his way to becoming one of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox organization. Drafted out of Northeastern University, Montalbano made a pit stop in the GCL before finishing his first professional season in Lowell. In two games, Montalbano was 0-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched. In 2001, Montalbano would go on to be named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year and seemed destined for success.
The story of Montalbano does not end in the Major Leagues however. After overcoming testicular cancer as a freshman at Northeastern, Montalbano was drafted by the Red Sox in 1999. However, after his breakout 2001 season, Montalbano was slated to start the 2002 season in Pawtucket. Unfortunately, a frayed labrum was detected in Spring Training and cost him the entire 2002 season.
Healthy to start 2003, Montalbano won his first two games before injuries struck again and wiped out the remainder of his season. In addition to his injured shoulder, Montalbano also had surgery to remove five non-cancerous tumors in his groin.
After he was released by the Red Sox in spring training of 2005, a finally healthy Montalbano launched a comeback with the independent Worcester Tornadoes. After a year of domination in the Can-Am League, Montalbano was receiving calls from Major League scouts when he received a phone call from a familiar number. He had cancer for a second time.
Greg Montalbano had two tumors removed in January of 2007. He had beat cancer twice, although his baseball dream was over. In May of 2008 however, doctors again delivered bad news to Montalbano. They had found six new tumors and all were cancerous.
Montalbano is currently undergoing treatment for his latest battle in New York and the entire Spinners organization wishes Greg the very best to a member of our baseball family.
To read more about Greg and his fight, read Stan Grossfeld’s touching story on Boston.com by clicking here.