Friday, July 1, 2011
Ross Grimsley was a respectable pitcher, and more than a bit player in Cincinnati's 1972 season. I remember him from my childhood both as a player and from his baseball card. Ross had a career that spanned 12 years and he won 124 games. I also remember him with the Baltimore Orioles. More than coincidental, he was traded to the O's during the winter meetings in 1973, and never played a '74 game in the Reds threads. This fact shows in the next card which is a card of Grimsley in the Trades set.
On the back of the card is something interesting that I came across at work last week. Grimsley is called "Ross Albert Grimsley II." This means that he was Ross Albert Grimsley, Jr. until he named a son after him and his father.
Cartoon: Boy, his eyes really do look crazy! No wonder they gave him the nickname of Crazy Eyes.
Ballpark background: Here we have the first appearance of Grimsley's home yard, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. I can tell by the bland green fence with green concrete behind it, along with Grimsley wearing a home uni. The elements in this photo remind me of a very ironic story some years future from this photo. At the end of his career, the Reds offered Rollie Fingers a contract to play on one condition - that he shave his trademark handlebar mustache off since the Reds had a no facial hair policy. Fingers would play only if he got to keep his waxed stache. Team owner Marge Schott - known for her bizarre public comments - made it known that the Reds were a traditional team and believed in tradition enough to not sign a reluctant Fingers. Now, let's see. A team that wore double-knit polyester pullover pajama uniforms with an elastic wasteband and played in a circular, multi-purpose facility that was shared by a football team, with perfectly symmetrical dimensions, artificial turf and who was owned by a woman is traditional? I dunno. There seemed to be quite a few players on the old traditional tobacco pack baseball cards that wore a mustache.