Friday, July 1, 2011

#59 - Ross Grimsley (CIN)

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.