Alex Grammas, The Golden Greek
In the past few weeks MLB baseball has lost Tom Jordan, 99, Wally Westlake, 98, Clint Conatser, 98, and Charlie Silvera, 94. Alex Grammas, 93, nicknamed the “Golden Greek,” died peacefully at his home in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 14. Grammas enjoyed a 40-year career in MLB as both a player and coach and was on two World Series championship teams: 1975 Cincinnati Reds and 1984 Detroit Tigers.
Grammas served in the Army during WWII, and his passing was announced via Titter by another Army reserve veteran, his former catcher Johnny Bench. Breaking into the pros in the 1950s, Grammas represented an especially resilient and grateful and humble league of players who served in the war. Grammas was especially proud of his Greek roots and when he finally got a chance to visit his family's homeland after his retirement, he was spellbound by his heritage. To this day I don't think anyone can top Grammas' remarkable tenure as major league third base coach. In a 1992 Tiger Notebook interview, Grammas said, “Unless some old-timer did it, I don’t think anybody in baseball has ever coached third base for 25 years.” RIP