Classic card of the week

Kevin Gross, 1989 Score

According to Wikipedia, Kevin Gross is a member of the Ventura County Hall of Fame. According to its website, induction into the Ventura County Hall of Fame requires that “athletes must have competed in a sport recognized by the Hall of Fame.” Makes sense. The website then goes on to list the sports recognized by the Ventura County Hall of Fame, which include Speed Boat Racing, something called Martial Arts Volleyball, and, of course, Winter Sports. Kevin Gross played baseball, which also qualified.

Anyhoo, what else?

Kevin, who has one of the league’s sharpest curves,

I just want to point out that if I did not know we were speaking about baseball, I would be left to assume that Kevin Gross had the most defined buttocks of anyone in his league. I would assume that the league in question was his fantasy martial arts volleyball league.

rebounded in 1988 from a dismal ’87 season.

When set against his career statistics, Kevin Gross’ 1987 4.35 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, for me, just reek of a herniated disc issue.

Kevin was hampered most of ’87 by a herniated disc in his lower back.

One of my absolute favorite things to do when writing these cards up is to pretend not to know what’s coming next. It makes my job as Information Consultant & Data Analyzer so much easier. Do you enjoy this as well? Not so much? Awesome!

He also was suspended for 10 days by commissioner Peter Ueberroth for sandpapering the face of a baseball in an August game against the Cubs.

Man, I miss baseball in the 80s. The bullpen car, mustaches, common maneuvers like sandpapering your balls. I mean, you can’t even bring sandpaper on a plane these days, much less hide it underneath your baseball cap during a major league game so that you can secretly use it to sharpen up your already legendary-sharp curveball. Also, according to its website: Candidates must have impeccable moral standing in the community. Sanctions by groups such as CIF, the Channel Coast Officials Association, Ventura County Football Coaches Association, school districts, etc., automatically disqualify a nomination.

I’m not sure where “sandpapering your balls” falls on the moral scale, but suffice it to say, Kevin Gross was not—I repeat, was NOT—sanctioned by the Ventura County Football Coaches Association or the CIF (County Initiatives for Fame). His inclusion in the Ventura County Hall of Fame is legitimate.

Despite all,

Despite all of the adversity Kevin Gross endured as a result of pitching relatively poorly and also cheating …

Kevin pitched over 200 innings for the third straight year.

"Pitching innings is probably the best testament to how a pitcher pitches. Because if a pitcher is pitching innings, he's pitching, and that's what pitchers do. They pitch. Kevin Gross was a pitcher, and that's why we're all here today." -- Joe Morgan, introducing Kevin Gross during Gross' induction into the Ventura County Hall of Fame.


Bill said…
Martial arts volleyball sounds AWESOME...but what I'd really like is for the Ventura County Hall of Fame to finally recognize Superbike racing.