Thursday, September 5, 2013

#72 Jeff Grotewold

About the Front: Considering that Jeff Grotewold got this one and only card in Topps' flagship sets, it's a good one to have. He was probably just taking a break from warming up a pitcher, but he strikes a somewhat imposing figure in his Tools of Ignorance. He's at Wrigley Field, of course.

About the Back: After reading up on Jeff, I'm stunned that Topps went with the ho-hum biographical information. Though he played 72 games with the Phils, his three home runs were hit on three consecutive days, each in a pinch-hit appearance! The Giants were probably glad to see him go.

Triple Play:

1. Of his aforementioned pinch-hitting power display in San Francisco, Grotewold said, "I might not hit one the rest of the year. I'm a doubles hitter, definitely not a home run hitter. I'm just trying to put the ball in play. If I go up there trying to hit a home run, I strike out." This was a prescient comment, as the rookie batted .132 (5-for-38) with one double and no home runs to finish out the 1992 campaign.

2. Other University of San Diego Toreros to play in the big leagues include former outfielder Brady Clark, ex-Royals catcher and manager John Wathan, and current Orioles lefty Brian Matusz.

3. Jeff's only other MLB experience was a 15-game swing with Kansas City in 1995. Despite a solid .278/.422/.389 batting line, he couldn't stick. He spent 1996 at AAA Omaha before retiring.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I don't think I ever noticed the catcher's mask tucked under Grotewold's left arm until I pulled the card out for this blog entry.

Bill James Said: Nothing, since Grotewold didn't play in the majors in 1993.

On This Date in 1993: September 5. Now that the 1993 season has reached the stretch drive, I'm going to post baseball happenings for each entry this month. On 9/5/1993, John Kruk walks in his first plate appearance in the Phillies' 5-3 win at Cincinnati. It's his 100th walk of the season, making the Phils the first National League team to have three 100-walk players in the same season.

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