Topps 1977, #521: Bobby Grich. A Happy Birthday to the former all-star second baseman and Long Beach Wilson High School graduate (where my youngest son went!). The 6x All-Star and 4x Gold Glover was the first second baseman to lead the American League in home runs (1981) since 1901 (Nap Lajoie). He went from the Orioles to the Angels after the 1976 season and actually turned down more money ($2.2 million) from the Yankees to play for the Angels. Grich said “my dream was to play for the Angels, and in front of my parents.” In 1979, while the Halos were celebrating their first ever division championship, Angels owner Gene Autry showed up in the clubhouse with Richard Nixon. Grich remembers “We ran out of champagne, so I grabbed a can of Budweiser, went over and said, ‘Mr. Nixon, this Bud’s for you.’ I poured it on him and the beer splashed down his forehead and shot right out over his ski nose. Six years later, Grich said, the Angels were playing the Yankees in the Bronx when Nixon barged into the clubhouse with his Secret Service entourage. “In this big booming voice, Nixon said, ‘Where’s Grich? Get over here!’ So I walked over sheepishly to make my apology,” Grich said. “He put his arm around me and said, ‘Bobby, I got more good press from you pouring that beer over my head than my staff ever got for me.’ And we had a good chuckle.” In the end he played 17 seasons with Baltimore and California and retired right after the heartbreaking game seven loss to the Red Sox in the 1986 ALCS.
Be gentle on my picture, this was my attempt at a little sketching!