Greg Gross is the case of local boy done good (pardon the grammar). He was born in York, Pennsylvania and was drafted in the 4th round of the 1970 amateur draft by the Houston Astros. He made his MLB debut with Houston 3 years later in 1973, and played for them until 1976. The following 2 seasons he spent in Chicago with the Cubs, and then finally in 1979 he became a Phillie. It was as a Phillie that Gross cemented his place in baseball history as one of the best pinch hitters of all-time. He spent a decade with the Phils (1979-1988) racking up 117 pinch hits (club record). For his career, which ended after one more stint in Houston in 1989, he collected 143 pinch hits (ranked 5th all-time).
Gross played all three outfield position and a little first base, but his primary use was as a bat off of the bench. He was only an everyday player for 3 seasons with Houston at the beginning of his career, and actually finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 1974 batting .314 in 156 games. Problem was, Greg had virtually no power and lacked the speed to make up for that deficiency and was on a Phillies team with many talented outfielders which pushed him into a platoon/reserve role.
Career Totals: .287/.372/.351, 449 r, 1073 h, 130 2B, 46 3B, 7 HR, 308 rbi, 39 sb.
Struckout only 250 times in 3745 career at bats. Made 2 appearances as a pitcher (1986 & 1989) with a 10.80 ERA. Went 8 straight seasons without a homerun (1979-1987). Has been a hitting coach in the Phillies minor league system since 2005, and is currently with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.