Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robert Anthony "Bobby" Grich (born January 15, 1949 in Muskegon, Michigan) is an American former Major League Baseball second baseman and right-handed batter who played for the Baltimore Orioles (1970-76) and California Angels (1977-86).
Grich had a very successful player career with Baltimore and the Angels for over 15 seasons. The main reason that sets him apart from the other second basemen of his generation, was the combination of fielding and hitting. He won four consecutive Gold Gloves and made the American League All-Star squad six times.
In 1973, the Orioles traded Davey Johnson to the Braves in order to make room for Grich at second base. He was an excellent fielder, with good range, soft hands, and a good arm, and he was steady turning the double play. In 1973, he set an all-time major league fielding record with a .995 fielding percentage, and 12 seasons later in 1985, he broke the record again (.997).
With the bat, Grich belted 19 homeruns with 82 RBI in 1974. Then, in 1979, he batted .294, adding 30 homers and 101 RBI, but he had his best offensive performance in the strike-shortened 1981 season. Grich tied the lead in homeruns (22, along with Tony Armas and Dwight Evans), led in slugging average (.543), and hit a career-high .304.
Grich had back luck in the post-season with the Orioles. First, losing the ALCS against Oakland (1973-74); later, joining in on the continual Angels failures against his former team (1979) and the Brewers (1982). Grich came closest in his final MLB season (1986), when the Angels blew a 5-2 lead to the Red Sox with two-outs in the ninth inning of Game Five, then lost Games Six and Seven as well. After the final out, Grich announced his retirement .
- 6-time All-Star (1972, 1974, 1976, 1979-80, 1982)
- 4-time Gold Glove (1973-76)
- Twice Top 10 MVP (1974, 1979)
- Led league in slugging average (1981)
- Led league in homeruns (1981)
- First second baseman to lead AL in HRs since Nap Lajoie (1901) and in either league since Rogers Hornsby (1939).
- Hit three consecutive homeruns in a game (1974)
- Set an AL 2B record with 484 putouts in a season (1974)
- The first player elected to the Angels' Hall of Fame (1996)
- Grich teamed with shortstop Mark Belanger a duo winner of four Gold Gloves, joining a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman combinations have won the honor in the same season while playing together (1973 to 1976)
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