Thursday, April 1, 2010
#158 - Jerry Grote
What I thought about this card then: I never saw it. Since Grote was a Met, I was vaguely aware of him, but not really until the Dodgers acquired him. At the time I was obsessed with whether you pronounced his name "Groat" or "Groatie."
What I think about this card now: Forget about that. Do you pronounce it "Groat" or "Groatie"?
Other stuff: Grote sealed his place in history as the primary catcher for the 1969 Mets pitching staff of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, etc. He was always known as an excellent defensive catcher and Johnny Bench famously said, "If Grote and I were on the same team, I would be playing third base."
Grote wound up with the Dodgers during their World Series teams of 1977 and 1978. He retired after the '78 season, but returned in 1981 to play for the Royals. The Dodgers picked Grote up again in September of 1981. He played in two games, but didn't compete in the postseason for L.A., which won the World Series that year.
Other blog stuff: Players in this set celebrating birthdays on April Fool's Day are: Phil Niekro (age 71), Rusty Staub (age 66) and Willie Montanez (age 62).