Joe Grzenda Stats

Joe Grzenda was born on Tuesday, June 8, 1937, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Grzenda was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 26, 1961, with the Detroit Tigers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Joe Grzenda baseball stats page.

"(Joe) Grzenda did well his first three years (in the minors), and in 1958 he was promoted to Birmingham, which at that time was the Tigers' AA team in the Southern Association. At the end of July, his record was 14-2. Fans loved him; he was labeled 'the most popular player in Baron history.' With his whip-like arm, he mowed down hitters, the speed of his fastball compared with that of the hardest thrower in the game at the time, Herb Score ." - Author Larry Colton in Southern League: A True Story of Baseball, Civil Rights, and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race (Grand Central Publishing, 05/14/2013, Chapter 25)
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Autograph on a 1971 Topps Baseball Card (#518)
Joe Grzenda Autograph on a 1971 Topps Baseball Card (#518)

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Birth Name:
Joseph Charles Grzenda
Nickname:
Joe
Born On:
06-08-1937  (Gemini)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Year of Death Data Died On:
07-12-2019 ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Covington Township, Pennsylvania
Cemetery:
Saint Catherine's Cemetery, Moscow, Pennsylvania
High School:
Moosic High School (Moosic, PA)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Left
Player Height Chart Height:
6-02
Player Weight Chart Weight:
180
First Game:
04-26-1961 (Age 23)
Last Game:
09-23-1972
Draft:
Not Applicable / Signing Bonus = $4,000
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Pitching Stats

G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
1961 24 Tigers 4 0 0 1 0 1.000 7.94 0 0 0 5.2 28 9 5 5 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 -
1964 27 Athletics 20 0 5 0 2 .000 5.40 0 0 0 25.0 121 34 15 15 2 13 2 17 5 1 1 -
1966 29 Athletics 21 0 6 0 2 .000 3.27 0 0 0 22.0 99 28 8 8 1 12 3 14 0 0 1 -
1967 30 Mets 11 0 3 0 0 .000 2.16 0 0 0 16.2 70 14 4 4 0 8 4 9 1 1 0 -
1969 32 Twins 38 0 7 4 1 .800 3.88 0 0 3 48.2 207 52 21 23 4 17 4 24 7 1 1 -
1970 33 Senators 49 3 19 3 6 .333 5.00 0 0 6 84.2 366 86 47 52 8 34 9 38 4 3 1 -
1971 34 Senators 46 0 21 5 2 .714 1.92 0 0 5 70.1 273 54 15 19 2 17 7 56 2 1 0 -
1972 35 Cardinals 30 0 16 1 0 1.000 5.66 0 0 0 35.0 165 46 22 24 1 17 8 15 3 3 0 -
G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
8 Years 219 3 77 14 13 .519 4.00 0 0 14 308.0 1,329 323 137 150 20 120 38 173 22 10 4 -
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Hitting Stats

G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1961 24 Tigers 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
1964 27 Athletics 20 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1966 29 Athletics 21 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1967 30 Mets 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1969 32 Twins 38 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .286 .000
1970 33 Senators 49 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1971 34 Senators 46 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 2 0 0 0 .143 .143 .143
1972 35 Cardinals 30 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
8 Years 219 30 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 19 2 0 0 0 .067 .125 .067
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Fielding Stats

POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1961 Tigers P 4 0 17 3 0.8 3 1 2 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 4.76
1964 Athletics P 20 0 75 10 0.5 10 0 10 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 3.60
1966 Athletics P 21 0 66 6 0.3 6 0 6 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.45
1967 Mets P 11 0 50 1 0.1 1 0 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.54
1969 Twins P 38 0 146 14 0.4 14 0 14 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.59
1970 Senators P 49 3 254 19 0.4 19 3 16 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.02
1971 Senators P 46 0 211 11 0.2 11 0 11 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 1.41
1972 Cardinals P 30 0 105 8 0.3 8 2 6 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.06
POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
P Totals 219 3 924 72 0.3 72 6 66 0 3 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.10
8 Years 219 3 924 72 0.3 72 6 66 0 3 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.10
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Miscellaneous Stats

SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
1961 Tigers 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.00 3.18
1964 Athletics 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.31 6.12 4.68
1966 Athletics 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.17 5.73 4.91
1967 Mets 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.13 4.86 4.32
1969 Twins 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 1.7 0.0 1.41 4.44 3.14
1970 Senators 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 1.1 0.0 1.12 4.04 3.61
1971 Senators 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 1.8 7.0 3.29 7.17 2.18
1972 Cardinals 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.88 3.86 4.37
SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
8 Years 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 1.6 30.0 1.44 5.06 3.51
Joe Grzenda

Joe Grzenda Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1961 Detroit Tigers 46 Undetermined - -
1964 Kansas City Athletics 36 Undetermined - -
1966 Kansas City Athletics 17 Undetermined - -
1967 New York Mets 43 Undetermined - -
1969 Minnesota Twins 17 Undetermined - -
1970 Washington Senators 19 , 31 $12,000.00 - -
1971 Washington Senators 31 $15,000.00 - -
1972 St. Louis Cardinals 31 Undetermined - -


Joseph Charles Grzenda was a Major League Baseball player who pitched for the Detroit Tigers ( 1961 ), Kansas City Athletics ( 1964 , 1966 ), New York Mets ( 1967 ), Minnesota Twins ( 1969 ), Washington Senators ( 1970 - 1971 ), and St. Louis Cardinals ( 1972 ).

Joe Grzenda Rookie Baseball Card
Joe Grzenda Rookie Card | 1969 Topps Baseball Card (#121 | Checklist )
Baseball Almanac Collection

The American League added two new expansion teams in 1961 , the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators (1961-1971). The new Senators still struggled mightily, losing an average of 90 games a year, causing fans to modify the old team saying, "Washington: first in war, first in peace, and still last in the American League." The Senators went 63-96 in 1971 , the Washington franchise moved again, and became known as the modern-day Texas Rangers in 1972.

Joe Grzenda was one of the few bright spots on the 1971 Senators , winning 5, losing 2, an ERA of 1.92, and being referred to in Sports Illustrated as one of the best relief pitchers in the American League.

On September 30, 1971 , during the last game at RFK Stadium, with 14,460 upset fans in attendance (the move to Texas had already been announced), Joe Grzenda took the mound in the 9th inning to collect a save (Senators 7 - Yankees 5). The fans had already come onto the field in the seventh, causing a delay, again after Grzenda recorded the first out in the 9th, a second delay, then after the second out, the fans in the stands literally emptied themselves onto the field.

The authorities could not restore order, so the game was forfeited to the Yankees. The statistics from the game are official, but there is no winning or losing pitcher since the Senators were winning at the time the game was forfeited! The final pitcher that infamous day was Joe Grzenda, who was standing on the mound, ball in hand - a ball he kept when he too left the field...

Joe Grzenda told Baseball Almanac, "There were hundreds of them (fans) covering over the fences. There was actually dust flying everywhere. Do you remember those old movies with herds of cattle stampeding? That's what it look like from my perspective."

Joe Grzenda held onto that ball for 34 years, and when baseball returned to the nation's capital, he handed it to President George W. Bush, who threw it out during the opening ceremonies for the Washington Nationals , on April 14, 2005.

Washington Senators Final Game Box Score
Washington Senators Final Game | The Decatur Herald | October 1, 1971 | Page 15
Joe Grzenda stepped onto the mound in two-hundred nineteen Major League Baseball games, in twenty-six different ballparks, faced one-thousand three-hundred twenty-nine big league batters, and not once during his 8-year career did he commit a single error !

Last-Modified: July 18, 2019 5:49 AM EST

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