Monday, March 31, 2014

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1984 Topps #332 Kevin Gross

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, March 31, 2014:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1984 Topps #332.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kevin Gross, pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: June 25, 1983.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1983 stats (Phillies): 17 G, 96 IP, 4-6, 46 R, 38 ER, 66 SO, 35 BB, 17 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 3.56 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Phillies #1st, January 1981 (Special). Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 15. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His Single produced Game-Winning RBI and he earned Victory in 3-1 win vs. Expos, 6-30-83."
  • Commentary: It's hard to believe that this set is now 30-years old. That means that 30 seasons ago, the Cubs made their first appearance in the postseason for the first time since 1945. That means that 30 years ago, I still knew nothing about baseball or baseball cards for that matter. The one thing I do remember is that when I finally was able to afford to buy this set from one of the many card shops in Chicago (now, not so many...what a shame), I realized I was missing one card from it. No, it wasn't the card of Kevin Frank Gross, today's subject, but of Dodgers' first baseman Greg Brock. Fortunately the card store managed to have one available (after digging through their inventory in the basement. I regret not accepting the invitation to go down there to see the place. I can only imagine tons of boxes with cards all over the place. That would have been awesome to see. Anyway. From 1983 through 1988, 2/25ths of the Phillies roster shared the name Gross, and both men were not related. Greg Gross was a veteran outfielder/first baseman who had spent time with the Astros (ROY runner up) and Cubs before joining the Phils and enjoying a successful 10 year career. Kevin was the rookie pitcher who impressed enough to earn a spot on the pitching staff, first as a swingman (reliever who could start from time to time) to a starting pitcher (an All-Star in 1988). In 1984, Gross appeared in 44 games, starting 14 of them, earn a record of 8-5, one save, strikeout 84 batters, achieve an ERA of 4.12, and a WHIP of 1.426. The following year, he earned a spot in the starting rotation, where he would stay the rest of his time in Philly. In six seasons, he would pitch in 203 games for the Phillies, achieve a 60-66 record, an ERA of 3.87, and strikeout 727 of the 4764 men he faced. He was traded to the Expos on December 6, 1988. After two seasons with the Expos, he spent time with the Dodgers (pitching a no-hitter in 1992), Rangers, and Angels before retiring as an active player. He was inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 17 cards.

Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #41. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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