Ross Grimsley is a former big-league pitcher who spent 11 seasons from 1971-1980 (and 1982) with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians. The south-paw pitched in one World Series in 1972 and played on two of the top teams during the decade – Cincinnati and Baltimore. His best season was 1978 when he was 20-11 in with Montreal Expos, was named to the National League All-Star team and finished 7th in the Cy Young award. Grimsley is a second-generation major leaguer as his father Ross Sr. pitched with the Chicago White Sox in 1951. Grimsley would finish his career with a record of 124-99, a 3.81 ERA, and impressive 79 complete games.
Dugout Chatter: If you had not been a professional baseball player what would you have been?
Ross Grimsley: I always loved flying, so I would of loved to be a pilot. Never took the opportunity to get my license.
DC:What did you do with your first baseball check?
RG: I got about $6000 when I signed, then went out and bought t a GTO car – like most young guys do.
DC: Who was your favorite pitcher/batter to face?
RG: Growing up I collected baseball cards. I had the Mantles, Mays, Clementes, Hank Aaron, and Killibrews. Many of the Hall of Fame guys. I got to pitch to most of them, except Mantle. What a thrill. Also, pitching against Jenkins, Catfish, Ryan, Gibson, Marichal. What a thrill that was for me!
DC: Which batter did you find the toughest to face?
RG: Each team had a guy or more that was a problem. Dusty Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Bill Madlock, Greg Luzinski, and Thurman Munson. There were several. They got me and I got them at sometimes.
DC: What was your favorite moment in baseball that fans might be surprised about?
RG: When my dad came to see me pitch. I think I was about 10-1 in games he attended. Only loss was in the 1974 World Series vs Oakland. I got beat the second game 2-1.
DC: What is the one trade rumor about yourself that came close to happening?
RG: I had heard a rumor I was going to be traded to Oakland at one point – this happened when I was with the Orioles.
DC: What is the one team/manager/player you would have liked to played on, play for, or play with?
RG: I played for the two winningest teams in the 70’s (Orioles and Reds) and was very happy with both. I Played for Sparky Anderson-Earl Weaver-Dick Williams – three of the best. As far as a players, pitchers Catfish Hunter or Fergie Jenkins.
DC: What do you like and or dislike about professional baseball today?
RG: It seems like the money is more important than winning in this day and age. Not so much by the players, but by the teams. Big investment in players. The thinking now is less is better. Less throwing, running, innings, pitches, which is the opposite of what they need to be doing. Just look at the disabled list! Strength and conditioning coaches aren’t able to get on the same page as players and to much heavy lifting has led to injuries. Just over work off the field, just too much.
DC: What is your take on the Hall of Fame as it relates to Pete Rose and the steroid era?
RG: Our families were close when we lived in Cincy in the early 70’s and we spent a lot of time together in the off season. Pete did something that was forbidden in baseball then and has been forever. (BET on games). Bottom line – you can’t do it. He is a Hall of Fame player, no question. One of the best hitters ever to play but I don’t think it will happen in his lifetime, if ever. I have mixed feelings on this.
Ross is currently the co-host on 105.7 the fan pre game show for the Baltimore Orioles.