An excellent contact hitter who rarely struck out, Gross had at least 39 pinch-hit
at-bats in each of his nine seasons in Philadelphia, and through 1988 was the third
leading pinch hitter in ML history, with 136 hits. He hit .314 for Houston in 1974
to win The Sporting News NL Rookie Player of the Year honors, but it would be his only ML season as a full-time starter, as his weak arm, little speed, and no power came to be seen as liabilities. He still got over 400 AB in two more seasons in Houston, and after a 1979 trade sent him from the Cubs to the Phillies, Gross became a pinch hit specialist. He returned to Houston in 1989.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»December 8, 1976:
The Cubs acquire Greg Gross from Kansas City for infielder Julio Gonzales. Then in a three-team deal, the Cubs also get OF Jim Dwyer from the Mets for Pete LaCock. LaCock then goes to KC for Sheldon Mallory who goes to New York.
»May 27, 1987: Greg Gross joins 1987's record-setting home run parade with his first home run since 1978, a 2-run shot in the top of the 8th that sparks the Phillies to a 6–4 win over San Diego. An all-time record 4,458 home runs will be hit in the major leagues this season.
»June 28, 1987:
Pinch hitter Greg Gross breaks up Ron Darling's no-hitter with a leadoff triple in the 8th inning and two Philley rallies beat the Mets 5–4.