18 October 2012

jerry grote, master lurker and dodger double dipper

before jerry grote first put on a dodger uniform in 1977, he had established quite a career for himself.  he had a world series championship in 1969 and a reputation as one of the game's best defensive catchers. he was also a master of appearing on other players' baseball cards.  like joe morgan's 1971 topps card.
now morgan himself was found lurking on tommie agee's 1971 topps card
but grote's presence as a lurker on morgan's card was so epic, topps actually used that same photo for grote's own 1971 baseball's greatest moment card (which i do not own, unfortunately)
that is some serious lurker cred.  grote appeared on another 1971 topps card, that of norm miller
but he unfortunately lost an opportunity for yet another appearance in the set via ray sadecki's card
because gil hodges gave duffy dyer got some playing time.  no matter, grote was back again in 1973, appearing on one of the greatest baseball cards of all time, the 1973 topps roberto clemente card
it was duffy dyer, however, who was behind the plate when clemente stroked his 3000th career hit off of jon matlack.  

here's grote again, i believe, on bob didier's 1973 topps card
or at least, his shinguards.  

grote was once again an on deck lurker in 1974, thanks to this world series card.
grote was on deck in the second inning when john milner drove cleon jones in with a single for the game's first run.  grote later scored the second run of the game after starting a two-out rally with a single in the 6th inning.

grote is back behind the plate where he belongs on this 1974 topps world series card
here, grote can only squat and watch as bert campaneris collects one of his three hits in the clincher.

grote wasn't always a lurker, though, as this 1978 sspc card attests.
grote came to the dodgers from new york in a trade late in the 1977 season.  he didn't play much, but he was soon up to his old tricks, getting some time on darrell evans' 1979 topps card
grote retired after the 1978 season, but was coaxed back to the big leagues by the royals prior to the 1981 season.  i made a 1981 topps traded card that should have been to commemorate the occasion.
he was released by the royals late in the season, but the dodgers re-signed him as they needed another backup catcher and no longer had joe ferguson on the roster.  grote only appeared in one game for the dodgers in 1981, but that was enough for him to qualify as a double dipper.  after the dodgers made the postseason, grote was released although i would imagine he has a ring from that world championship.  his playing career was over, so he wasn't included in any 1982 sets.  here's a 1982 topps card that should have been, paying final tribute to a fantastic career
here's the back with grote's career stats
and, lest we forget, here is yet another card showing off grote's lurking prowess - a 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams lou brock card
and yes, i will get back to that blog very very soon.

here's to you jerry grote!

No comments: