The 1970’s, A To Z: Tom Grieve to Greg Gross

Recap: I’m going through all of the notable and somewhat notable players and managers of the 1970’s and I’m basically making like it’s an all-encompassing 1970’s throwback baseball card set. For the “card front”, I’m sharing my favorite 1970’s card of that guy. I’m also including a card back’s worth of information and thoughts about him and his cardboard.


TOM GRIEVE

1976 Hostess #130

Played 1970 – 1979
1970’s Teams: Senators, Rangers, Mets, Cardinals

1970’s Highlights:
Was part of a four-team deal between the Rangers, Mets, Pirates and Braves, which also involved Al Oliver, Jon Matlack, WIllie Montañez and HOFer Bert Blyleven

Career Highlights:
Was the Senators’ 1st round draft pick in 1966; Was the Rangers’ General Manager from 1984 to 1994; Is part of the Rangers’ broadcast team; Was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2010

Fun Stuff:
Grieve had two sons who played professionally: Ben Grieve was also a 1st round draft pick; Tim Grieve pitched four seasons in the Royals organization, but did get a “Draft Picks” card in 1994 Topps Traded


KEN GRIFFEY

1976 SSPC #40

Played 1973 – 1991
1970’s Teams: Reds

1970’s Highlights:
Starting right fielder for the “Big Red Machine” teams of the 1970s; Lost the 1976 batting title to Bill Madlock on the last day of the season… Madlock went 4-for 4 to finish at .339 and Griffey, who had been leading going in, went 0-for-2 to finish at .336; In 1975 he scored the go-ahead run in the clinching games for the NLCS and the World Series; Scored 90+ runs in four straight seasons, 1975 – 1978

Career Highlights:
Inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2004; Is the only player to win three World Championships with the Reds; MVP of the 1980 All-Star Game; Batted .296 over his 19-year career

The Elephant In The Room:
Of course, Ken Griffey is father to Ken Griffey, Jr.

Fun Stuff:
Griffey, Griffey Jr. and Stan Musial all came from the small town of Donora, PA;

Card Stuff:
His 1977 O-Pee-Chee card had a different photo than the 1977 Topps card


DOUG GRIFFIN

1976 SSPC #412

Played 1970 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Angels, Red Sox

1970’s Highlights:
Won the Gold Glove award in 1972; After his 1971 rookie season he got 3 (out of 24) AL Rookie of the Year votes, was named the Red Sox rookie of the year and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team; Was the Red Sox starting 2nd baseman from 1971 to 1975; Played 18 games for the Angels in 1970 before being sent to Boston in a trade which sent Boston favorite Tony Conigliaro to California


ROSS GRIMSLEY

1979 Hostess #5

Played 1971 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Reds, Orioles, Expos

1970’s Highlights:
Won 20 games in 1978, the most wins in a season by a Montreal Expos pitcher; Also got his only All-Star nod in 1978; Was named the LHP on the 1971 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Threw a two-hitter in the 1972 NLCS vs. the Pirates; Won 18 games and struck out 158 with the Orioles in 1974; Got wins in games 5 & 6 of the 1972 World Series

Career Highlights:
Was the pitching coach for a number of minor league teams from 1984 to 2014

Fun Stuff:
His father, also named Ross, pitched for the White Sox in 1951; His nicknames are “Crazy Eyes” and “Scuz”; Gave up Robin Yount’s first and second MLB homers… 2 months apart


GREG GROSS

1979 Topps Burger King Phillies #22

Played 1973 – 1989
1970’s Teams: Astros, Cubs, Phillies

1970’s Highlights:
Was named the 1974 Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year and finished 2nd to Bake McBride in the ROY award voted on by the sportswriters; Was named to the 1974 Topps All-Star Rookie team; His 185 hits in 1974 set an Astros team record, one which would be broken in 1978 by Enos Cabell (and by others after that)

Career Highlights:
His 143 career pinch hits was 5th all time heading into the 2020 season (and I’m pretty sure nobody was in a position to pass him this past season); Appeared in the postseason in 3 different seasons with the Phillies and won a World Championship in 1980

Fun Stuff:
Although Gross appeared in 1,809 games over 17 seasons, he hit only 7 career home runs, and 5 of those home runs were hit in 1977;  Pitched twice in the 1980s… Pitching for the Phils against the Expos in 1986 he struck out two while giving up a double and a walk (but no runs) to close out an 8-0 loss, and pitching for the Astros against the Pirates in 1989 he again closed out a blowout loss but allowed 2 runs, 3 hits and a walk while pitching the 9th

Card Stuff:
The featured card, from the 1979 Topps Burger King Phillies regional set, serves as a sort of ‘Traded’ card because Gross appears in 1979 Topps as a Cub; Gross is one of the few players to have Hostess and Kellogg’s rookie cards (1975)

2 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Tom Grieve to Greg Gross

  1. Good post, I remember that both Ken Griffey Sr & Jr both played on the same Mariners team, each player hit a homerun in the same game. Greg Gross was always very dependable utility player in his day. Doug Griffin shared 2nd base duties with Denny Doyle in 1975, both players average at best.

  2. Learned about Tom Grieve whiled doing research for my Mr. post. I actually discovered his son back in the 90’s while trying to chase down as many rookie cards and autographs of his as possible.

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