Monday, February 28, 2011
#102 - Bill Greif
Like Bobby Valentine, Bill Greif was drafted out of high school in '68, he in the third round by the Astros. A local boy from Austin, Bill was a multi-sport guy and QB'd his football team to a state championship. The next few seasons he wound his way through the minors, spending roughly a year at each level. He did pretty well with an ERA in the low three's although he was only 25-29 as primarily a starter. In '69 he followed up a good Rookie ball year with a couple solid starts in A ball and then his elbow popped. He threw only 30 innings between those early starts and some later rehab work. Two more good years followed in Double A and Triple A respectively. That second season of '71 his ERA moved up a bit but his K totals got everyone excited and he saw his first MLB work that year when he was called up in late July to replace an injured Larry Dierker in the rotation. That December he went to San Diego with Derrel Thomas for Dave Roberts (the pitcher, not the infielder).
While playing Greif was able to get an undergrad degree in psychology at the University of Texas. He then acquired a Masters in Education from Texas State and went on to a career in real estate, based in Austin. Further down the road his wife got breast cancer which was treated successfully and the two of them began a support service for cancer victims and their families. It is linked to here.
Bill was a big boy and was sought after by a bunch of colleges, particularly in Texas. The shutout mentioned in the third star bullet is one of the two-hitters named above. He may have been a switch hitter but it didn't help any: his lifetime batting average was below .100. Bill has a SABR bio.
We are in the midst of one of the Topps west coast swings. Let's see if it helps:
1. Greif and Dave Winfield '73 to '76 Padres;
2. Winfield and Bobby Valentine '75 to '77 Padres.
Greif was gone before Valentine got his requisite at bats, a stat I totally made up.