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guido grilli, 1966 topps #558, red sox

Player: Grilli, Guido

Card: 1966 Topps #558 (with Pete Magrini)

Position: LHP

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Then I got traded to Kansas City. People ask me, ‘Why did you quit?’ I say, ‘Well, I went from the best organization, the Red Sox, to the worst.’ Charlie Finley with the mule. The softball-looking uniform…" (Guido Grilli)

Guido John Grilli (born January 9, 1939 in Memphis, TN) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. A left-hander, he appeared in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Athletics during the 1966 season. Guido (Jr.) was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended the University of Memphis. He knows of no family relation to the father-son pitchers Steve and Jason Grilli.

His father Guido Sr. (1917-2008) had grown up working in his parent’s neighborhood grocery store. Drafted into the army soon after his son’s birth, he reportedly fought in France under Gen. George Patton. Guido Sr. “became one of the best pitchers in Memphis". He was part of one of the greatest pitching duels in competitive softball, teaming up in 1948 to pitch Standard Parts to runner-up in the Softball World Championships. He was inducted in the Memphis Park Commission Sports Hall of Fame on December 7, 1977.

Guido’s mother, Daisy [Ravarino] Grilli was left to raise young Guido. “Suffice it to say, we were a little poor,” said Guido in a 2017 interview. “When my father came back from the war, he couldn’t find a job so we lived with my grandparents. His folks."

Grilli signed with the Red Sox in 1959 and spent seven seasons working his way through their farm system. In the meantime, Guido put in military service time in 1962 and 1963, with the United States Army. “Six months of active duty and then 4 or 4 ½ years of active reserve. When I went it to do my active duty — my six months of basic training – it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis and we weren’t sure when we got out of the truck if we were going to go to the rifle range or to Cuba.

In 1965, a stellar season as a relief pitcher for the Toronto Maple Leafs, champions of the Triple-A International League, earned Grilli a spot on Boston's 40-man winter roster. He started 1966 with the Red Sox, making his MLB debut on Opening Day (he issued a base on balls to the only hitter he faced, Curt Blefary of the Baltimore Orioles). But he struggled in six appearances and was sent back to Toronto during the May roster cutdown. Then, on June 13, Boston recalled Guido and shipped him to the Athletics in a six-player trade that yielded relief pitcher John Wyatt and outfielder José Tartabull.

After leaving baseball, Guido worked for Holiday Inn for nearly 24 years. He is the only big-leaguer remembered with the first name "Guido", although Wedo Martini's real name was Guido.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Photo from SABR


Guido is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Guido is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See Guido’s baseball cards at TCDB

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