Saturday, November 24, 2012

#117 - Greg Gross

What a card: Greg Gross was coming off his last great pinch-hitting season when this card arrived, batting .322 with a .393 on-base percentage on 202 at-bats in 112 games in 1984.

My observation on the front: Gross embraced the '80s-nerd ballplayer look as well as anyone. What horned-rim glasses were to '60s ballplayers, oversized, wire-rim glasses were to '80s baseball dudes.

More opinion from me: Gross is not related to former Oakland A's infielder Wayne Gross, nor former Expos, Phillies and Dodgers pitcher Kevin Gross. In fact, he's not related to any MLB-playing Gross ever. The one that threw me the most was Wayne Gross. I thought for sure Greg and Wayne were brothers.

Something you might know: Gross was an all-star rookie starting outfielder for the 1974 Houston Astros, but his career lasted 17 years because of his pinch-hitting ability. He is fifth all-time in career pinch-hits with 143.

Something you might not know: Gross was caught stealing 20 times during his rookie year in '74. Only Lou Brock was caught stealing more often in the National League that year with 33. But while Brock stole 118 bases in 1974, Gross stole ... 12.

My observation on the back: Greg and Debbie's kids names are Megan and Michael. Just adding the info Topps would've added if it didn't have to throw in the copyright line.

The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab has been updated.

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