Saturday, March 4, 2017
I remember seeing this card as a kid and wondering if Terry McGriff was related to Fred. Turns out...he was! He's either a first or second cousin, depending on which website you find. But his family connections don't end there. He's also cousins (or uncle?) with Charles Johnson. Wait - there's more! Terry's dad played ball and roomed with Lou Brock in college. That's a lot of baseball pedigree!
Terry was essentially the backup catcher in Cincinnati for the 1987 and '88 seasons before spending most of his time in the minors until 1994. That year he was with the St. Louis Cardinals as their primary backup before the player's strike ended the season and McGriff's time in the majors. He hung on at AAA for a couple of seasons before finishing out in the independent leagues.
I'm fascinated with two things on McGriff's card. One, his wrapped bat. Seeing a player or coach use a damaged bat during batting and fielding practice always intrigued me as a kid. Two, there are two fans checking things out over his right shoulder. I think it would be fun to start a binder with cards that have fans prominently featured in the background. I wonder if those two ever found out they made it onto cardboard?