Feb 17, 2010
non-HOF Profile Derby #10: Bobby Grich
Because someone commented on him, I choose Bobby Grich as the 3rd recipient of the profile treatment from the last, last poll.
An underappreciated all-around 2nd baseman of the Orioles and Angels by the name of Bobby Grich , (1970-1986.)
Place on the WAR chart: : Below Tony Gwynn and Luke Appling and above Carlton Fisk, Duke Snider, and Pee Wee Reese.
OK, WAR isn't the be all, end all of statistics, but it does cover many aspects of a plyaer's contributions on the field (offense and defense). For comparison's sake, here's the list of 2nd baseman in the top 100 of the WAR list, in order:
2nd baseman and 3rd baseman are probably the two most underrepresented positions in the Hall of Fame. As you can see, Grich falls firmly in the middle of the Hall of Fame 2nd baseman in terms of career contribution. Another non-HOF name that stands out in this list is Lou Whitaker. He'll be in a poll at some point.
Career Overview and Some Numbers: 6 time all star, Silver Slugger winner in 1981, and 4 time Gold Glove winner. He was known for both his abilities with the bat and the glove. He tied for the league lead in HRs once, SLG one, and OPS+ once. He also set the 2B fielding % record in 1985. He was widely considered as a great fielding 2nd baseman who also had some power and patience. He had 100 RBIs once and 100 BB twice.
Best Season:1981: Hit .304/.378/.543 (164 OPS+) with 22 HR, 56 R,and 61 RBI in 100 games (because of the strike)
The Final Numbers: Hit .266/.371/.424 (124 OPS+)with 224 HR, 864 RBI, and 1087 BB/1278 K.
Why He Should be Remembered:He is a classic case of the type of player that doesn't get noticed on the HOF ballot. A middle infielder with not very high averages who had a couple of down years during his prime (rebounding later). He also excelled at all facets of the game, but was not the best at any of them. In the 1970s, Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, Willie Randolph, and Frank White were the other principal 2nd baseman. Grich compared favorably to even the best of them (Morgan was incredible from 1972-1977). He also was considered a leader on the division winning Angels teams of 1979 and 1982.
HOF Balloting Performance:2.6% in 1992, then dropped from the ballot
Rookie Card: 1971 Topps 193
Modern Cards: 2009 Tristar Obak (auto),2001 Topps Archives (Auto)