One of my obsessions over the last few years has been former Baltimore Orioles/California Angels second baseman Bobby Grich. One of the reasons for this is that his national profile does not get the attention it deserves, and I want to remind people just what a great baseball player he was. For that reason, I spent six months finding out everything I could about the man, and then I put it all together in a book I have called The Outstanding Career of Bobby Grich.
Most people remember that he led the league in home runs in 1981 and had a fantastic on-base percentage year after year, but he was also a brilliant defender. He set the single-season Major League record for fielding percentage by a second baseman not once, but twice in his career. He was athletic enough to get to balls and quick enough to get rid of them in a flash. Being a former high school quarter back, he had one of the strongest throwing arms around. He positioned himself perfectly based on the batter, the pitcher, and the situation. He was a great analyst of the mechanics of playing his position, and he utilized every advantage he could, like blocking second base with his lower leg while receiving a pick off throw.
He played in a set infield during most of his days with the Orioles, with Mark Belenger at shortstop, Brooks Robinson at third base, and Boog Powell at first, but then with the Angels he had a new double play partner every season (Dickie Thon, Freddie Patek, Rick Burleson, Tim Foli, et al), yet he never missed a beat. He was a key player in two of the American League’s great rivalries — the Orioles versus the Oakland A’s during the first half of his career, and then later the Angels versus the Kansas City Royals in the second half. He played with many teammates both in Baltimore and in Anaheim who would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame. . .
I could go on and on about Grich, but I should stop and let you check out my new book on the great Bobby Grich over at Amazon.