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Bobby Grich

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Robert Anthony Grich

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[edit] Biographical Information

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Bobby Grich was a six-time All-Star during his 17-year major league career, but still didn't get the recognition then that he has received from the sabremetrics community in recent times.

A four-time Gold Glove winner with a career OPS+ of 125, who managed an excellent .371 OBP at a time when high walk totals were not as common as today, Grich finished as high as eighth once and ninth once in MVP voting. In strike-shortened 1981, he had the highest OPS+ in the AL and tied for the league lead in home runs, yet only finished 14th in MVP race.

Grich was a first-round pick by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1967 amateur draft. Heplayed five seasons in the minors, hitting as high as .383 in 63 games with the Rochester Red Wings in 1970, the year he made his big league debut with the Orioles. The following year he had 32 home runs for the Red Wings but still couldn't displace Oriole veterans Mark Belanger at shortstop and Davey Johnson at second base in the Bigs. In 1972 he became a regular without a fixed position, getting over 500 plate appearances while rotating around the infield. Johnson was dealt to the 1973 Atlanta Braves after the season to make room for Grich, smashing a career-high 43 home runs for the Braves.

Grich played for Baltimore through 1976, then moved as one of the prominent re-entry free agents after that season to the California Angels, where he stayed till retiring following the 1986 season. He was an All-Star three times with each, in 1972 as a shortstop with the O's, the rest as a 2nd baseman.

In spite of his high regard among sabremetricians, only one Hall of Famer appears on his similarity scores list, WWII-era Yankee 2nd baseman Joe Gordon (whose career was shortened by military service). The most similar player is Toby Harrah, a contemporary AL infielder of similar high OBP for the era, whose bat was a notch less potent and glove couldn't compare, but who was a much more effective base thief.

Grich was a high school teammate of Ed Crosby. Bobby attended the same high school as Jeff Burroughs, who was two years younger.

His stepson, Brandon Lodge, was drafted in 2007 but did not sign and was on the UCLA team which played in the 2010 College World Series.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Further Reading

  • Bobby Grich (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, February 1986, pp. 63-65. [1]

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