Bobby Grich is loved by sabermetric people who surely love him. They probably would have them ahead a few of the second basemen ahead of him starting with Biggio on down. However, when you look at the traditional stats they aren’t that impressive. Grich played 17 years and didn’t have 2,000 hits. He barely scored 1,000 runs. He never scored 100 runs and drove in 100 runs in a season. He did walk over 100 times twice in his career. He seemed to get a lot of injuries that caused him to miss a fair amount of games in a season.
Grich did get over the 2,000-game mark but only by 8. He retired on 37 which is a little young for an outstanding player. Grich was above average in all facets of the game except for stamina, so he does really well in WAR. While others would move him up, I’m comfortable having him 13th best second baseman on my list. He is still an easy hall of famer in my book even though he hasn’t been elected.
Ironically Grich’s best year was 1981 a shortened season. At least on offense. He led the league in homeruns, slugging percentage and Ops plus. So, he was arguably the best hitter which is super for an above average fielding second baseman. That is great. Grich finished 14th in the MVP voting, which seems low for this feat. He was fourth in WAR for position players. I probably would have had Grich fourth on my ballot, with Rickey Henderson 3rd. I would have had the winner Fingers third and Dwight Evans 2nd. It was a difficult ballot with the split season and the season being shortened. While I wouldn’t have voted for Fingers, he wasn’t a bad choice. I think Grich was somehow forgotten in this mess. At least at voting time.
I remember I became a full-time fan in 1968 at the age of 9. The Orioles easily won the pennants with over 100 wins in each season in 1969 to 1971. After the 1971 season I saw an article saying the Orioles were stacked with prospects. I was at an age where I believed a lot more on what writers wrote. They mentioned Bobby Grich and Don Baylor in the article. Well this time the writer was right. Both were good prospects. Grich hit the hall of fame level with my formula. The article had me tend to over rate Baylor but he had a good career and ended up 514th on my list. He is no where near a hall of famer, but he won an MVP and helped my Twins win the World Series in 1987.