One of the most interesting things I’ve ever come upon while roaming around the Internet is the long chain of comments following a post at Jaybird’s Jottings entitled “Where Have You Gone, John Montefusco.” Despite the title, the post does not really center on the player shown here in his 1981 Topps card, but it does offer some brief information about Montefusco’s ups and downs after baseball at the conclusion of a positive review of a book called Giants: Where Have You Gone. The post was published on May 22, 2005. It was over a month before anyone commented on it. That first comment probably cost its author about three seconds to complete, as evidenced by its brevity and by the level of analysis shown by the concluding phrase: “What a loser!”
More silence followed, but then two full months later another commenter finally chimed in. By this point, over three months after the original post was made, it seems likely that most anyone visiting the post had gotten there the same way I had, by doing a search on the name “John Montefusco.” With the second commenter’s offering, the communal story that would begin to unfold in the comments moved closer to the subject. Where the first commenter fired a volley from afar at John Montefusco, the second commenter, Joe Settipane, sought to establish a closeness to John Montefusco. They had, Settipane explained, been neighbors, though Settipane didn’t realize the identity of his neighbor until Montefusco had moved out. There is an immediacy to the comment: Settipane has just found out that day, from the movers clearing out Montefusco’s house, that the man who had until recently lived right beside him was a charismatic former all-star of some renown.
Settipane’s comment is not inherently negative—he concludes with the wish that he could have gotten to know Montefusco—but his musings on the reason Montefusco had to vacate his home seems to have combined with the “What a loser” comment to, eventually, draw out the comment that would begin to make the chain of comments into a living, breathing, many-voiced creature all its own. But before that third comment there was more silence, nearly a half a year of it. Finally, the author of the third comment must have done an Internet search on a name that meant as much as any name in the world to her, come upon the Jaybird’s Jottings post and the two comments, and posted the following message:
I am John Montefusco’s daughter and I think that all of you should get lives of your own. I cannont [sic] believe you people have the audacity to talk about a man and a family that you have never met and know nothing about. It is because of people like yourselves that our family has suffered more than we ever needed to. Yes, my parents got divorced, like millions do, no one needs to know the details, or slander anyone of my parents names for it. Get lives of your own, and stay out of ours!!!