Bobby Grich supplied the final run in the Angels’ 11-1 rout of Detroit on Monday when he hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. The homer was his ninth of the season and 141st as an Angel, tying Don Baylor for the all-time club lead.
“To be the home run leader of a team that was my favorite as a kid is a dream come true,” said Grich, who was reared in Long Beach. “And knowing I’m going to stay in Southern California when I retire, I can be proud walking back into Anaheim Stadium as the club leader, though Brian Downing isn’t far behind (Downing has 117).”
Retirement? Grich, 36, is completing his ninth season with the Angels and is eligible for free agency when the season ends. He implied that he is not certain about his desire to play again in 1986, but is thinking only of the bid for a division title.
“Whether I play again next year or not,” the versatile infielder said, “it would be a great thrill to go to the playoffs again. I’m concentrating on having a good September. What happens this month may tell the story (regarding his desire to continue playing). The Angels haven’t talked to me or my agent yet, but then that’s been their policy.”
Grich has been struggling. The six-time All-Star went into Monday’s game with a .239 average. Reggie Jackson winked at Grich in the clubhouse and said: “That one (the home run) was for your personality. We’ve all been there.”
It was the 211th homer of Grich’s career. Joe Morgan holds the record for second baseman at 268. Grich has hit some while playing shortstop, third base and first base.