Sunday, February 28, 2010

#504 Jerry Grote

#504 Jerry Grote
Here we see young Houston catcher Jerry Grote auditioning for the role of Dick Tracy villain Flattop.

Fun facts about Jerry Grote:

-Born in San Antonio, TX, he attended nearby Trinity University for a year before signing with the Colt .45s in 1962.

-Debuted with Houston at the end of the 1963 season and shared in the catching job the following year, but hit only .182 and spent all of 1964 in the minors before being traded to the Mets.

-In New York, Grote gained a reputation as one of the finest defensive catchers in the game. Lou Brock claimed that he was the toughest backstop to steal against.

-Was a two-time All-Star for the Mets (1968 and 1974), though his best season with the bat may have been 1975, when he hit .295 with 39 RBI in 386 at-bats.

-Caught every inning of the postseason for New York in 1969. In the World Series, Grote's pitching staff held the Orioles to a .146 average in five games to shockingly win it all. He was also the only catcher that the Mets used in the 1973 postseason, when they upset the Reds in the NLCS before succumbing to Oakland in a seven-game World Series.

-According to the excellent Mets by the Numbers site, he wore #15 longer than any other player in team history: nearly twelve seasons.

-Late in his career, Jerry was traded to the Dodgers and played sparingly as a backup (1977-1978).

-Was coaxed out of retirement by the Royals in 1981, as they were in a pinch for catchers. Hit .304 for them in 22 games, then played a few games with the Dodgers at the end of the year before calling it quits for good. In parts of 16 seasons he hit .252 with 39 homers and 404 RBI.

-Managed in the minors for Detroit's A-level Lakeland and AA Birmingham clubs in 1985. Also laced up his spikes again in 1989 for the Senior Professional Baseball Association's St. Lucie Legends.

-Has been inducted into the Texas Baseball, Mets, and and San Antonio Sports Halls of Fame. After walking away from baseball, he raised prized Texas longhorns on his ranch near Austin, TX.
#504 Jerry Grote (back)


  1. Grote holds the Royals record with 7 rbi's in one game.

  2. TBI - And he set that record in 1981, after a two-year layoff. That's the really impressive part!