Ray Grimes

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Grimes with his son Oscar Ray Jr., before a Cubs game circa 1921.

Oscar Ray Grimes, Sr. (September 11, 1893 – May 25, 1953) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Boston Red Sox (1920), Chicago Cubs (1922–1924) and Philadelphia Phillies (1926). Grimes batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Bergholz, Ohio.

Grimes emerged as one of the first Chicago Cubs heroes of the early 1920s. He appeared in a game with the Boston Red Sox in 1920 before being dealt to the Cubs in 1921. That season he hit .321 with 79 runs batted in, 38 doubles, and 91 runs in a career-high 149 games.

In 1922, while with the Cubs, Grimes set a major-league mark with at least one RBI over 17 consecutive games, a record which still stands. As noted by baseball historian Clifton Blue Parker, "It is a little-known record, but perhaps one of the most enduring and challenging ones."[1] During the streak, Grimes drove in 27 runs and had 29 hits in 67 at-bats for a .433 batting average, including seven doubles, three triples and three home runs.[2] He finished the 1922 season with 99 RBI, 99 runs, 45 doubles, 12 triples, 14 home runs, and hit .354, ending second in the National League batting title behind Rogers Hornsby (.401).

His promising career declined after suffering a slipped disk in 1923, although he continued to play well in limited action, but he appeared in only 115 with the Cubs from 1923 to 1924, and played 32 games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1926, his last major league season. In a six-season career, Grimes was a .329 hitter with 27 home runs and 263 RBI in 433 games.

Grimes was the twin brother of second baseman Roy Grimes, who played briefly for the New York Giants in 1920, and also was the father of Oscar Grimes, an infielder who played with the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Athletics between 1938 and 1946. Grimes died of a heart ailment in Minerva, Ohio, at age 59.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Parker, CB: Fouled Away: The Baseball Tragedy of Hack Wilson. Jefferson, NC. McFarland & Company, 2000, p. 101. ISBN 0786408642
  2. ^ Snyder, John (2010). 365 Oddball Days in Chicago Cubs History. United States: Accessible Publishing Systems. p. 570. ISBN 9781459607255. .

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