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Alfredo Griffin

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Alfredo Claudino Griffin (born October 6, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) player, who played shortstop for four teams from 1976 to 1993. He is currently the first base coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Playing careerEdit

Alfredo began his career as a member of the Cleveland Indians, who signed him as an amateur free agent in 1973. On December 5, 1978, before having played a full season in the majors, he was traded, along with Phil Lansford (minors), to the Toronto Blue Jays for Victor Cruz. Alfredo made an immediate impact, sharing the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1979 with John Castino.

In 1984, he was named to the All-Star team. This was explained by John Feinstein of the Washington Post as: "Making the All-Star team the hard way: Major league baseball pays the expenses for each player here and for one guest. In most cases, players bring wives or girlfriends. Damaso Garcia, the Toronto Blue Jays' second baseman, brought his shortstop, Alfredo Griffin. When the Tigers' Alan Trammell hurt his arm and could not play tonight, Manager Joe Altobelli named Griffin to the team, partly because he's a fine player, but mostly because he was here."[1]

All the same, Griffin was valued far more for his glove than his bat. Mike Scioscia called him "the Ozzie Smith of the American League." A steady, everyday shortstop, he spent six years with the Blue Jays, playing in 392 consecutive games. He was traded after the 1984 season to Oakland, where, despite his reluctance to draw walks and a tendency to be overaggressive on the basepaths, he began to harness the offensive promise he showed in 1980 when he set an AL record for most triples by a switch-hitter with a league-leading 15. He also had some very bad seasons: in 1990 when he became the last player to finish last in the National League, of those who qualified for the batting title, in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging average.

After establishing personal bests in most offensive categories with the Athletics, Griffin was traded to the Dodgers for Bob Welch prior to the 1988 season in a move that helped both teams to league championships. A Dwight Gooden fastball broke his hand in May 1988, and he was disabled for much of 1988 and part of 1989.

Griffin returned to Toronto in 1992 and was a key contributor as the Jays took the first of two consecutive championships. On October 13, 1993, he stood on deck as Joe Carter faced Mitch Williams in the ninth inning of Game Six. His career came to an end moments later when Carter homered to win the World Series for Toronto.

Coaching careerEdit

He is currently the first-base coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in MLB, and also for the Estrellas Orientales (Eastern Stars) in his native Dominican Republic's Winter League.

TriviaEdit

  • During the game in which his consecutive game streak ended, Griffin scored the winning run. This oddity happened because an official appearance in a major league game requires the player to either play an inning of defense or have a plate appearance (per Rule 10.24(c) of baseball's Official Rules). As a pinch runner, Griffin had neither.
  • Was pinch-hit for to set up Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series Game 1 winning home run, five years later he was on the on deck circle when Joe Carter hit game-winning home run in 1993 World Series.
  • Has one of the more famous nicknames used by ESPN Announcer Chris Berman: "Fettucini Alfredo Griffin."
  • Has been on the losing team in three perfect games, the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981, the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, and the Dodgers again in 1991.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Merron, Jeff. These guys weren't stars. Page2 (ESPN). Retrieved on July 11, 2006.

External linksEdit

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