Here's a "series" that I really enjoyed doing called the "Almost" Awards. I call it a "series" because it lasted 3 posts before, quite frankly, I completely forgot about it. Well it's back! To fill you in, here is how I described it back in February of 2011....
"..starting with the 1969 season onward, I'm going through all the voting for awards and writing about the Padres who received votes but came out on the losing end. Also of note the word "Almost" is used very loosely, because I am writing about them whether they finished 2nd or 25th. If they received a single vote they get mentioned."
That's right, you won't find any winners here. Everyone remembers the guy who won the awards, but these are the guys that need some love. Perhaps some of them were even more deserving than the winners even? To bring you up to date here are 1970 (Cito Gaston), 1971 (Dave Roberts), and 1972 (Nate Colbert). Now onto 1973!!
In 1971 the Padres would go on to draft a 6'3" outfielder from Richmond, Virginia by the name of Johnny Grubb. He was selected in the 1st round (24th overall) in the Secondary Phase of the draft. Having been previously drafted 3 times ('69 Red Sox/'69 Reds/'70 Braves), the fourth time was apparently a charm and the 22 year old signed with the Padres. After spending only 2 seasons in the Minors, Grubb got his feet wet at the Major League level in 1972 as a late season call up with 22 plate appearances (.333/.364/.476). Then in 1973 he would go on to win the Padres Opening Day center field job. That season, with an excellent eye at the plate, he would go on to hit .311 with 8 homers and 37 rbis in 389 at bats, while only striking out 50 times and posting a .373 OBP. These numbers were good enough for him to earn 1 first place vote in the National League Rookie of the Year voting and place 6th, tied with Dodgers Ron Cey and Davey Lopes.
|Voting Results||Batting Stats||Pitching Stats|
|Rank||Tm||Vote Pts||1st Place||Share||WAR||G||AB||R||H||HR||RBI||SB||BB||BA||OBP||SLG||OPS||W||L||ERA||WHIP||G||GS||SV||IP||H||HR||BB||SO|
The following year (1974), Grubb would go on to make his only All-Star appearance when he was named the lone Padres All-Star represenative. He put up solid numbers during his Padres tenure, including a then team record 36 doubles for the Padres in 1975 and posting a WAR of 5.3 in his 5 seasons in San Diego. After the 1976 season the Padres traded him, Hector Torres and Fred Kendall to the Indians for George Hendrick. Despite struggling with injuries for much of his career, Grubb managed to stick around for quite a while, making stops in Cleveland ('77-'78), Texas ('78-'82) and Detroit ('83-'87) and even winning a World Series....in 1984 vs. the Padres.
After retiring after the 1988 season, Grubb would eventually go on to become the head coach for the varsity baseball team at his alma mater, Meadowbrook High School. While there, he coached former Padre Cla Merideth and would coach for 10 years before hanging up the clip board. He is now retired and enjoying spending time with his family.