From time to time, CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to
athletes who left a lasting legacy on their games or are responsible for
moments still talked about.
Today, we say "Happy 52nd" to Kelly Gruber, a former Blue Jays third baseman who helped the team win its first World Series title. He's also remembered for a great play undone by a blown call.
Kelly Gruber was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1980, played his first major-league games in a Blue Jays uniform in 1984, and manned the hot corner for Toronto during the first of its back-to-back World Series titles in the early 90s.
Before the Jays became the first team outside of the United States to win the World Series, the Houston native made some history of his own.
On April 16, 1989, Gruber became the first player in Blue Jays history to hit for the cycle, smacking a double, home run, triple and single against the Kansas City Royals. (Trivia alert: that feat has been accomplished by only one other Blue Jays player since: Jeff Frye in 2001)
But it may be the play Gruber "didn't make" in Game 3 of the 1992 World Series against the Atlanta Braves that many fans will best remember:
Video evidence suggests the triple play did actually happen, but fell victim to human error. Umpire Bob Davidson nullified what would have been the first triple play in the World Series since the Indians did it in 1920.
It's nice to know that the call didn't affect the final result, a 3-2 Toronto win, helped along by an eighth-inning solo homer belted out by Gruber himself:
Gruber retired in 1993 before trying a comeback in 1997 with the Baltimore Orioles. Today, he spends his days running baseball clinics as well as working with charities.
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