It is Ross Grimsley Week

It just makes my day when I read about a blogger or sportswriter who is captivated by a player from the past.  Turning our attention away from the tomfoolery coming out of Cincinnati, let’s take a walk over to The Hall of Very Good, where Shawn has proclaimed this to be Ross Grimsley week.

Who is Ross Grimsley ?   I’m glad you asked.

He was a character.  OK, he was a left handed pitcher that originally came up through the Cincinnati Reds organization during the Big Red Machine era.   At that time he looked like this.

Look at that clean cut young man

He would pitch well for the Reds, helping them win the National League West in 1972 and again in 1973. He start Game Two of the 1972 World Series, taking a hard luck loss. He would also appear in the last three games, all in relief, earning wins in Games Five and Six.

Grimsley would then be traded to the Baltimore Orioles, where he would sport a new look.

and a pretty good record. He would win 18 for the Orioles in 1974 and help them win the American League East title.

With a couple of young pitching studs coming up through their farm systems (Dennis Martinez and Scott McGregor), the Orioles let Grimsley get away in free agency.  That might have been a bit of a mistake, because the lefty signed with Montreal and would win 20 games, or nearly 1/3 of the teams wins in 1978.

After two and a half years in Montreal, Grimsley would be traded to Cleveland.  After missing most of 1981 to injury, he would return to Baltimore for one final season, pitching out of the bullpen.

I sort of get Shawn’s fascination with Grimsley.  I really do.   It’s not his 124-99 career record.  It’s not even his strikeout rate, which runs neck and neck with Ryan Theriot’s defensive web gems per game.

It’s the do.

And we have some of those in our Cardinals closet too, so I understand completely.

Reggie Smith

A cleaned up Pete Vukovich

A more menacing Pete Vukovich

And who can forget Silvio “One Hit” Martinez ?

Yes, Shawn.  I understand completely.

There’s one more reason to go check out the Hall of Very good during Ross Grimsley week.  He is giving away a copy of Dan Epstein’s awesome book Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s.

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5 Responses to It is Ross Grimsley Week

  1. That’s the best Vuke photo you can get? He was much more fearsome looking when he moved to Milwaukee. (Vuke once said to Gorman Thomas, or perhaps it was vice versa: “Your face looks like you lost an acid fight.” And that would have applied to either.)


    • Totally agree. In ’81 and ’82, he was awesome. Looked like he had slept in his uniform all week, hair was a total mess and then he’d give you that “Reverend Jim” from Taxi look. Vukovich was such a character. We really hated to lose him. Would loved to have seen him pitch a few more years in STL.

      Loved that early 80s Brewers team. Such characters. And then there was Paul Molitor who looked like he came from filming a Boy Scout commercial.

      I’ll try to get a better non-STL era photo of Vukovich.


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