384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

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The San Diego Padres drafted Johnny Grubb in the first round of the 1971 free-agent draft, with the 23rd over-all pick. Grubb played his college baseball for Florida State University. Previously, he played prep baseball for Meadowbrook High School in Richmond, Virigina. His major league d├ębut came as a September call-up on September 10, 1972. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and a single, as the Padres beat the Atlanta Braves one to nothing at San Diego Stadium.

Johnny Grubb Career

Johnny Grubb spent 10 years on a major league roster, working primarily in the outfield, and with the very rare appearance at first base and third base. Over the course of his career he slashed .278/.366/.413 in 1,424 games, with 4,823 plate appearances. He represented the National League in the 1974 All-Star Game. Grubb won a World Series ring with the 1984 Detroit Tigers, appearing as a pinch hitter. He went 1 for 3 in four plate appearances, and being hit by a pitch. The Tigers beat the San Diego Padres in five games.

Trades and Transfers

The Boston Red Sox initially drafted Johnny Grubb in the third round of the 1969 free-agent draft, he opted not to sign. Cincinnati Reds selected him with the 14th overall pick of the secondary phase of the 1969 draft in June, and he opted again not to sign. The Atlanta Braves drafted him in the 3rd round of the secondary phase of the 1970 draft, yet again he proved to be unsignable. Finally, in the 1971 draft, the San Diego Padres selected him with the 24th overall pick of the secondary phase. He did sign with the Padres.

1987 Topps - 384 - Johnny Grubb
1987 Topps – 384 – Johnny Grubb

Having played in for the Seminoles of Florida State University, he spent only two years in the minors before his September 1972 call-up to the Padres. He spent all of 1971 with the Lodi Padres of the California League. 1972 saw him ply his glovework for the Alexandria Aces of the Texas League.

Following the 1976 season, the Padres packaged Grubb, Fred Kendall and Hector Toress, and traded the lot to the Cleveland Indians for George Hendrick.

The Indians kept him for a season and a half. They then moved him to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline of the 1978 season, receiving Bobby Cuellar and Dave Rivera in return.

The Rangers moved Grubb in March 1983 in exchange for Dave Tobik from the Detroit Tigers. During the 1986 season, he had an 8 game assignment with the Nashville Sounds of the American Association, the Tigers’ affiliate. He played with the Tigers until his release in October of 1987.

He signed a one-year minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves for 1988. During 1988, he appeared in 34 games for the Richmond Braves, before retiring from playing. He would later coach at Meadowbrook High School, a job he held for 10 years.

Signed Card

Much like the Mike Davis card, Grubb’s aviator style glasses jump off the card at me. Secondly, the bench jacket screams awesomeness to me. Especially in a set which 90% of the cards feature the player in either home or away jerseys. The seats behind him appear to be Tiger Stadium, and since some detective work has shown that the Wade Boggs‘ player card from this set came from Tiger Stadium, and images are typically from the year before, I would surmise that this photograph, as well as the Boggs’ came from the opening day series between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers between April 7, 9, and 10, 1986.

Grubb’s signature is beautiful using a lot of the available space in blue sharpie. It disappears slightly with the shadows of the bench jacket, but it still looks great.

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