Jeff Grotewold hit just four home runs in his brief major league career. But in one series in 1992, he seemed to be just as big of a home run hitter as anyone.
Three of Grotewold's four home runs came on consecutive days early that July in San Francisco.
"It was a fun run, I've got to tell you," Grotewold told MLB.com years later. "Besides being called up and telling my family that we'd made it to the big leagues, that was the highlight, absolutely."
Grotewold got into 72 games total for the Phillies that season. He got into just 15 more with the Royals three seasons later, rounding out his major league career.
Grotewold's career began in 1986, signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of the University of San Diego.
Grotewold started with the Phillies at single-A Spartanburg. He made single-A Clearwater in 1988 and then had his first stint at AA Reading in 1989.
Grotewold returned to Reading for all of 1990. He hit .269 in 127 games there. He also hit 15 home runs. That August, Grotewold told The Reading Eagle he was comfortable then as a hitter.
"I feel very confident at the plate right now," Grotewold told The Eagle. "It's not how you start, it's how you finish that counts. I plan on finishing strong."
Grotewold made it to AAA Scranton in 1991. In 1992, he made Philadelphia. With the Phillies in 1992, Grotewold got into those 72 games. He hit .200 in 65 at bats. He also hit those three home runs.
Grotewold then spent 1993 with the Twins at AAA Portland. He spent 1994 at independent Duluth and independent high-A San Bernardino.
For 1995, Grotewold signed with the Royals. He also made it back to the majors for 15 games, helping the team to a June win with his fourth and final major league home run. He also joined Kansas City after playing in replacement games that spring, The Associated Press wrote.
"It was nice to have an opportunity to contribute to this team," Grotewold told The AP after that June game. "Anytime you can help the team win for the first time, it makes you feel more a part of the team."
Grotewold played one more season at AAA Omaha, ending his career.
He has since returned home to California and entered the carpet business, serving as owner of the Carpet Station in Crestline.
- Reading Eagle, Aug. 11, 1990: Shortfall frustrates Grotewold
- Lawrence Journal-World, Associated Press, June 20, 1995: Grotewold gives Royals lift
- MLB.com, Sept. 6, 2012: Three blasts in three days defined Grotewold's career