David Alan Griffin
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Heighjt 6' 4", Weight 220 lb.
Dave Griffin won a AAA home run title yet never made the majors.
Griffin was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the January 1981 draft, one round before Oddibe McDowell, but did not sign. He set Texas Wesleyan records for home run (25), total bases (178) and slugging (.856) in a season, making NAIA All-American. The Atlanta Braves then selected him in the 16th round of the 1982 amateur draft. He hit .327/.415/.495 for the GCL Braves that summer. He tied for 4th in the Gulf Coast League with 11 doubles, tied Paulino Garcia for 4th in home runs (6), was third in RBI (39, two behind Fred McGriff and Darnell Nelson), had twice as many walks (30) as strikeouts, was second in average (.023 behind Dave McLaughlin), was second to McLaughlin in OBP (by .019), led in slugging (.023 ahead of Eriberto Them), led in OPS (28 ahead of Them), tied Esteban Bolivar for the most total bases (103) and led first basemen in double plays (46). He failed to make the GCL All-Star team as McGriff was picked at 1B.
With the 1983 Anderson Braves, Griffin batted .275/.351/.439 with 31 doubles, 15 home runs and 71 RBI. He tied Pat Borders, Hank Clark and Keith Hughes for second in the South Atlantic League in doubles (3 behind Stan Javier) and was 9th in total bases (219, between Van Snider and Jim Vest). He led first basemen in putouts (1,197) and assists (76). Among Braves farmhands, he was second in doubles (one behind Brook Jacoby, tied for 9th in home runs (with Paul Runge and Bob Tumpane) and tied Gerald Perry for 8th in RBI. Playing mostly DH for the 1984 Durham Bulls (Tumpane had 1B), he slumped to .263/.332/.398. He did better but hit only six home runs in 1985 for Durham (.274/.381/.398 in 82 G) and the Greenville Braves (8 for 22, 3 BB, 2 2B, HR).
He rebounded with Greenville in 1986, hitting .276/.351/.446 with 31 doubles, 17 home runs and 104 RBI. He finished sixth in the Southern League in two-baggers, tied Gene Larkin for 5th in RBI, led with 18 game-winning RBI and tied Billy Ripken for the most double play grounders (21). In the Braves chain, he tied Ron Gant for second in doubles behind Mike Nipper, tied Rondal Rollin for 8th in home runs and was second in RBI, one behind David Justice. Moving up to AAA with the Richmond Braves for 1987, he produced at a .248/.313/.395 clip with 15 home runs, fielding .995. He tied Brian Deak and Barry Jones for third in the Braves chain in long balls, 5 behind John Rabb and Mark Lemke(!), though he did not make the top 15 in the 1987 International League.
Griffin had a career year with Richmond in 1988 - .289/.360/.488, 21 HR, 72 RBI - while the 1988 Atlanta Braves sputtered to 106 losses. Unfortunately for Griffin's timing, Perry had perhaps his best season (.300, 109 OPS+) as a rare bright spot for Atlanta, denying him his best chance at the major leagues. Dave instead put himself all over the 1988 IL leaderboard: third in average (behind Steve Finley and Hal Morris), third in OBP (after Tim Tolman and Tom Barrett), first in slugging (.036 ahead of runner-up Carlos Quintana), first in OPS (56 ahead of Quintana), first in home runs (5 ahead of Ron Jones, Craig Worthington and Quintana), 3rd in RBI (3 behind leader Jones, one behind Worthington), 8th in walks (50, between Kelly Heath and Jones) and first in total bases (221, 8 ahead of Worthington). He was named the IL's All-Star first baseman, though Worthington was picked as MVP. Among Atlanta farmhands, he was second to Brian Hunter in home runs and 6th in RBI.
He split 1989 between the Toledo Mud Hens (18 G) and Columbus Clippers (81 G), hitting a combined .272/.358/.437 with 12 home runs. He played briefly in the Mexican League, going 18 for 57 with 9 walks, two doubles and a home run for the 1990 Acereros de Monclova to finish his pro career with 104 HR and 494 RBI in 911 games.
He later coached at the amateur level, running his own baseball school and guiding the team at Bishop Noll Institute for six years. He was named the first coach for the Purdue University Calumet program, which began operation in 2014.