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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Ross Grimsley spoke from experience as minors coach; Saw 11 majors seasons as player

Ross Grimsley 1990 Peninsula Pilots card, Grimsley up close

Ross Grimsley, pitching coach for the Shreveport Captains, looked ahead to the 1999 season and to his pitchers, to The Shreveport Times.

Grimsley expected to take it slow with his hurlers, he told The Times.

"We may go three or four innings with a starter with the idea that we want them to be ready in June," Grimsley told The Times. "We don't want them to peak too early."

Grimsley spoke from experience. He'd peaked himself over more than a decade in the majors as a player, including a 20-win season and eight overall seasons with double-digit wins.

He then used that experience over a lengthy post-playing career as a minor league pitching coach.

Grimsley's long career in baseball began in 1969, taken by the Reds in the first round of the January draft out of Jackson State Community College in Tennessee.

Grimsley started at short-season Sioux Falls, then moved to AAA Indianapolis in 1970. In 1971, he made Cincinnati and went 10-7, with a 3.57 ERA his first year.

He returned to Cincinnati in 1972 and went 14-8, with a 3.05 ERA. He also helped pitch the Reds to the World Series, including a complete game win against Pittsburgh in the NLCS. In that NLCS win, the Cincinnati crowd gave Grimsley three standing ovations, The Associated Press wrote.

"The ovations ... I couldn't believe it," Grimsley told The AP afterward. "It was unbelievable they'd do that for me."

Grimsley then pitched in four World Series games, picking up two wins in the seven-game Cincinnati loss.

Grimsley won 13 games for the Reds in 1973, then went 18-13, with a 3.07 ERA after moving to the Orioles in 1974. 

He stayed with the Orioles through 1977, then moved to the Expos for 1978 and became an all-star. He won 20 against 11 losses, with a 3.05 ERA.

Grimsley continued playing through 1982. Overall, he went 124-99, with a 3.81 ERA over 11 seasons. 

By 1984, Grimsley had started his coaching career. He served that year as pitching coach for the Mariners at AA Chattanooga. He then moved to AAA Calgary as pitching coach in 1986.

He arrived in the Giants system in 1999 at AA Shreveport. He then continued with the Giants through at least 2014, at AA Richmond.

In June 2011, his Richmond pitchers went through a rough stretch, The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote.

"It's a streak we're going through, and we've got to work through it and make adjustments," Grimsley told The Times-Dispatch. "That's the whole thing - make an adjustment. If you don't, you're going to struggle."

Ross Grimsley 1990 Peninsula Pilots card, Grimsley up close

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,189
Made the Majors:1,378-32.9%
Never Made Majors:2,811-67.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:560
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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