Baseball historian/author Doug Williams of Gloucester announced that he has stepped up to the plate to launch a biography about former New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Eli Grba.
Following three seasons with the Yankees, Grba was the first player chosen in 1961 by the new Los Angeles Angels, in baseball’s first-ever expansion draft. According to Williams, Grba took the mound on opening day that year in the first game for the franchise, pitching a complete-game masterpiece, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 7-2.
Williams said Grba was not prepared for life as a baseball star and it wasn’t long before his promising career was on the skids.
Alcohol quickly took control of his life and after less than three seasons with the new American League club, Williams said the Angels’ management had run out of patience with Grba. "His drinking problem was more than he or the team could handle so field manager Billy Rigney had no choice but to kick Grba out of baseball," Williams said.
It took years for Grba to get back on his feet. After losing his home, his wife and family, a good friend and former teammate Albie Pearson got Grba the help he needed so he could finally make it back into professional baseball.