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Kelly Gruber

Photo of Kelly Gruber

A former Major League third baseman, Kelly Gruber spent most of his career in the big leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays. Born in Houston, Texas in 1962, Gruber played high school baseball at Westlake High School in Austin. Coming out of high school, Gruber was drafted in the 1st round 10th overall of the 1980 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, but never signed with the team. Gruber would eventually get picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 Draft in December of 1983, and made his MLB debut for the Jays shortly after on April 20, 1984. Spending his first 3 seasons between the Blue Jays and the minors, Gruber, known by Toronto Fans as Xanthos for his long, flowing blond hair, became a regular in the Blue Jays lineup by 1987. In 1989, Gruber became the first player in Blue Jay history to “hit the cycle”, which is hitting a homerun, triple, double and a single all in the same game. The following year in 1990, Gruber had his best season in the MLB, with a batting average of .274, 31 homeruns, 118 RBI’s and 14 stolen bases. Gruber’s 1990 season earned him the Golden Glove and a 4th place finish in MVP voting. After being a integral part of the Blue Jays 1992 World Series winning team, Gruber would be traded to the California Angels in 1993, with whom he’d finish his career with after just 63 games due to a bone spur on his spine. Today, Gruber is a motivational speaker and holds baseball seminars across North America.