Friday, September 23, 2011

Good Grief!

Actually, the title of the post ought to read "Good Greif!" On the other hand, it serves as a perfect saying for anybody who happened to be a pitcher for the Padres at that time:

Card #583 -- Bill Greif, San Diego Padres

Baseball has never really seen anything like San Diego's 1972-'73 uniforms. It's a color that isn't easily defined: some (like me) say it looks like hot mustard, others say it looks like something you need to clean out of a cloth baby's diaper. In any case, the Padres weren't a very good team then but were able to say they had a uniform that most resembled a 1970s household appliance.

Bill Greif managed to get the only double-digit wins total of his career in 1973. His ten wins represented a sixth of the Padres' win total that year, but the team's anemic run support helped saddle him with 17 losses as well. Greif never managed a winning season in his career; the closest he came was 1-1 in his rookie season (1971) with the Astros. He was San Diego's Opening day pitcher in '74 and demoted to the bullpen the next year.

Splitting 1976 between the Padres and the Cardinals, Greif sat out the '77 season after failing to make the Expos in Spring Training. In 1978, he signed with the Mets but wasn't able to get any higher than the team's AAA affiliate in Tidewater. That was probably a favor; the 1978 Mets were every bit as bad as the Padres of the early 1970s. That would prove to be his final season in professional baseball.

Fortunately, Greif was able to get some education in. He had attended college at the University of Texas before his major league playing days and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He went on later to pick up a master's degree as well and was involved in real estate after his career was over.

1 comment:

  1. I pulled a card of his from a pack when I was a kid, I cannot remember the set, could easily have been the one above. I asked my father how to pronounce the last name. He looks at it and says it rhyming with leaf, then says it rhyming with life, and then he turns it over and yells to my mom in the kitchen, "hey this kid is from Fort Stockton..." and next thing I know, they're in there with my grandpa and talking about old relatives and central Texas and... I don't think I ever did find out how to pronounce his name. Not sure I ever got my card back, either.