Friday, July 21, 2017

Reviving Memories Of The Great Jim 'Mudcat' Grant

Not my actual card, but similar
Everyday, we at FenwayNation post a birthday that is significant for the Red Sox. For example, today is the 76th birthday of former Sox pitcher Gary Waslewski. In checking through Waslewski's stats (he spent just two years with The Carmine Hose), we noted that after his departure from Boston he was involved in an interesting trade. In 1969, the Cardinals traded away Waslewski to the Montreal Expos in exchange for then 33-year-old pitcher Jim 'Mudcat' Grant. That triggered a memory. Sometime in the early-to-mid-1960's, I was a young kid attending a Red Sox game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway. I and my buddies were in the bleachers, of course—the $2.00 seats were all we could afford. As we stood above the visitors' bullpen, I recognized Grant—whose baseball card (along with many others on the Tribe) I had brought to the game, just in case. I poked his card through the fence and respectfully asked him for his autograph. He smiled, and said, "Sure!". What a moment! So, in a box somewhere, there is a Topps card of Mudcat with a signature I will always remember. Grant had a terrific career—14 seasons, 145 wins, 3.63 ERA. By the way, Mudcat is still around and will turn 82 on August 13th. Happy early birthday wishes, Mudcat!