Grieve won the 1998 American League Rookie of the Year award while playing for the Oakland Athletics. His father, Tom Grieve, is a broadcaster for the Texas Rangers and a former baseball player and general manager for the Rangers. Grieve admitted in an article in Devil Rays Magazine in 2002 that basketball was his primary love in high school, but baseball was the sport at which he most excelled.
Oakland Athletics and Rookie of the Year Award
Ben Grieve was once a highly regarded young prospect, born from a baseball family. He began his career with the Oakland Athletics. He hit .288, with 18 HR and 89 RBI posting a .840 OPS. Although the 1998 Rookie Class was fraught with future stars, Grieve's campaign earned him the AL Rookie of the Year. The 1998 rookie class featured future all-stars such as Magglio Ordonez, Kerry Wood, and Todd Helton. In 1999, the Oakland outfielder followed up with a solid season, hitting .265 with 28 HR and 86 RBI. His next season (2000) would statistically be his best. Grieve belted 27 HR, drove in 104 RBI, and hit .279. The A's won 91 games and the AL West title. Following the 2000 season, the young Grieve was involved in a 3-team deal that sent him to Tampa Bay. That trade sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland.
With The Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001, he hit 11 HR with 72 RBI, his slugging percentage dropping a full 100 points from the prior year. The following season (2002) Grieve battled injuries, but did manage to hit 19 HR and drive in 64 RBI in 136 games. In 2003, in 55 games, he hit .230, with 4 HR and 17 RBI in 165 at-bats.
Following the 2003 season, Grieve signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers; on August 31 of the 2004 season, they traded him to the Chicago Cubs. He served primarily as a back-up outfielder for both the Cubs and the Brewers that year. In all, Grieve appeared in 123 games between the two teams, hitting just 8 HR and driving in 35 runs.
Grieve departed the Chicago Cubs in the 2004-2005 offseason as a free agent; he eventually signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a non-roster invitee to 2005 spring training. He was cut by the Pirates prior to the regular season, which made him again a free agent. At the beginning of the 2005 season, Grieve was signed by the Chicago Cubs to a minor-league contract, which assigned him to the Triple-AIowa Cubs. During the season, Grieve was up and down, having two short call-ups followed by activation midway through September (following roster expansion). He ended the 2005 season having played in just 23 games at the majors, during which he hit 1 home run and had 5 RBIs.
Grieve spent the entire 2006 season in the White Sox minor-league organization. He started the 2007 season still in the White Sox minor-league organization, a member of the AAA Charlotte Knights.