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Grover Powell
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Memories of
Grover Powell
Grover Powell
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 310 of 1043 players
Grover David Powell
Born: October 10, 1940 at Sayre, Pa.
Died: May 21, 1985 at Raleigh, N.C.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 5.10 Weight: 175

Grover Powell was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on May 4, 2013, and July 25, 2013.


First Mets game: July 13, 1963
Last Mets game: September 29, 1963

Share your memories of Grover Powell


Don Mallo
Grover Powell and Dennis Musgraves were touted as the up and coming Met pitching stars. Unfortunately each developed severe injuries which limited their career. Both Powell and Musgraves were the beginnings of a pitching staff which would produce Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry and of course Nolan Ryan.

Phil Gimli-mead
Pitched a shutout in his first start as a Met, first game of a doubleheader. His future looked bright and as the brief career stats indicate, he was effective out there in the short time he was there. Koosman also had a shutout in first start. Don't know if anyone else has done it for the Mets.

Bruce M.
When first called up, he was asked by a reporter "What do you throw?" His reply - "Smoke".

And he was right. Very promising young pitcher whose career ended almost before it began.

John Paige
March 18, 2001
I was only 10 when Grover Powell pitched his shutout. I don't think I ever heard, at that time, what actually happened to him. What sort of injury took him out? Also, does anyone know what happened to end his life so prematurely?

March 30, 2001
I also was ten when Grover pitched his four-hitter (by the way, Phil Gimli-mead is not right about Koosman - he made two starts in 1967 and was rocked) which was about the most exciting thing that had happened to me by then. The data shows that he lost a game pretty badly but my fuzzy memory believes that he had a pretty strong no-decision outing the week after his shutout. Does anyone remember this?

Logan Swanson
April 13, 2001
In an edition of Mets Inside Pitch, circa 1992, was related the story of Grover Powell. Yes, hid did pitch a couple of fine games for the Mets and showed much potential. But he got injured, and struggled in the minors for various clubs (Mets and Reds systems) until 1970.

Powell attended an Ivy League school, and many who knew him expected him to succeed outside of baseball. That did not happen. He eventually found work at a bank, but was fired.

In 1985, while his 14 year old son was recovering in the hospital (I think from an auto accident), Grover was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, which quickly took his life.

Tony Volino
July 7, 2001
My step father had managed Grover when he was younger in Pennsylvania. He introduced me to Grover in the early sixties when he was pitching for Syracuse. Great guy who got the Syracuse team to autograph a baseball for me. Many of the autographs were of players that eventually played for the "miracle Mets". I believe, if my memory is correct, that Grover was hit by a line drive off of the bat of Roberto Clemente. He was never the same pitcher after that. He ultimately is a footnote in baseball history but a fond memory for me.

Mike Tenenbaum
August 19, 2001
Did Grover change his middle name after retiring from baseball?

The newspapers of the day reported his name as Grover Dimitrius Powell.

Lee Margolis
February 19, 2002
The famous story about Grover Powell's injury (reported in Lindsey Nelson's book "Backstage at the Mets") is that he hurt his arm combing his hair. When Casey Staengel was asked about this he commented "Greasy kid stuff!".

Glenn G
January 13, 2004
The book Aaron to Zipfel is supposed to list every player who played during the '60s, including a brief biography of what he did in the majors & what he did when he retired. Poor Grover wasn't included. Was one of the few Mets to wear #41 besides Seaver.

Bob P
January 27, 2004
Powell shut out the Phillies in his first major league start on 8/20/63. Then in his next start a week later at Forbes Field, he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Donn Clendenon. That started his injury woes; Powell never won another game in the majors.

June 18, 2004
There was a story about Grover Powell in a Society for American Baseball Research publication.

His baseball card is on his tombstone. I believe the stone's epitaph is "He achieved his dreams."

He pitched and won a shutout in the majors. That's certainly achieving a dream.

Doctor Worm
June 3, 2005
I recall his home town was listed as Wyalusing, PA, which one sportswriter (forget who) turned into "Why-ya-losing?" Ironic in light of his untimely passing.

Logan Hitchcock
February 12, 2006
Dont pick on my home town Wyalusing. My grandpa played little league, high school and minor league ball with Grover and they were great friends. Yes Grover has his card on his grave I have visited it many times. I have his rookie card actually a couple and it was too bad his life had to end so soon

May 3, 2006
The book that said Grover Powell was from Wyalusing, Pa. is called "Now Wait A Minute Casey!" by Maury Allen (1965). It also said that he liked to lie to reporters. He said that his middle name was Demetrius because his mother liked the classics. Allen wrote that he hurt his arm pitching winter ball in Venezuela.

Ed K
January 11, 2007
There is currently a bio of Powell at the Ivy@50 website which has a write-up each day about a famous Ivy league athlete to celebrate the 50th anniversary of official Ivy league athletic competition.

Although I knew Ken MacKenzie went to Yale I never realized that Grover Powell also had an Ivy League career before the Mets. As a sophomore, he was the star pitcher at Penn but was kicked off the team for being disruptive. The Mets had offered him $8,000 to sign but reduced it to $2,500 after he was kicked off the team. He accepted and pitched in the minors in 1962 before being called up in 1963. Of course, his shutout with the Mets took place at Connie Mack Stadium close to the Penn campus.

The rest of the bio gives information already covered by previous posters. It does mention, however, that Powell did eventually return to school to obtain his degree From the Wharton School of Business at Penn in 1966.

One thing the bio does not mention is that Powell wore the number 41 long before Tom Seaver did. I've always found that to be a good Mets trivia question.

Robert Nori
August 5, 2007
I remember listening to the shut-out that Powell pitched in his first start for the Mets. In his next start I think he went 5 or 6 innings before yielding a run. I clearly remember Bob Murphy the Mets' announcer talking about how no rookie ever pitched two shut-outs in a row in their first two starts. I am not sure if that is still true. Anyway, the Mets in their early years had a series of pitchers who were stopped or slowed by injuries, Les Rohr, Dennis Ribant and Carl Willey come to mind.

The pitch that did in Powell was off the bat of Donn Clendenon, and I remember quite a few fans booing him when he made his first appearence at Shea in a Met uniform. Of course that ended when he played a big part in the Mets winning their first World Series in 1967.

Mets fan in Maine
January 6, 2008
Elaborating on the information found on Powell on the website Ivy50.com, as a sophomore he led all collegiates in strikeouts. He was dropped from the team because his coach found him "always loud, overbearing to a point, and somewhat unusual." After his first Met start, a four-hit shutout, Casey Stengel said Powell "pitches like he's been around a long time and he will be." In his next start, Powell had thrown four shutout innings before Clendennon's line drive struck him in the face--and Powell then retired the side before going to the hospital.

March 30, 2008
I've been looking around this site for several years now. There's something haunting about this guy! Whether it his untimely death, or career that started out so well and ended tragically, I don't know! He was one of several young pitchers the Mets had who seemed to be on their way! Rusteck, Musgraves, and Powell all could have long careers in baseball, but injuries sidelined them all. It's said history always repeats itself! I look at these guys and can't help be reminded of the middle '90's Gen K staff that all faded due to injuries.

A Friend
October 6, 2010
As I recall, Grover Powell was SCREWED by a well known NC Bank for not following company procedure but trying to do a good deed to help someone out. One of his large clients, a movie theater manager, came to him right after bank closing and just before Grover left for the night asking Grover if he would make change for him. Apparently the manager had forgotten to get change to cover his weekend sales. Grover, went into the bank safe to provide him with the change he needed. Company policy at the Bank was that the safe was not to be opened after business hours. Instead of the Bank standing by Grover, knowing what a loyal employee he was they took it upon themselves to fire him for not following procedure. He was one of the finest!

Mitch C
August 31, 2011
I am a Met autograph collector and had sent out a request for Mr. Powell to sign his card years before he passed on. A few months after he left us his sister sent me a letter letting me know that she found my letter in one his drawers that he apparently had left there. She sent me a very nice note about Grover and the town they lived in. She even sent a photo of him working at the bank. Very nice of her to send me the pic and take the time to let me know what had happened. She also mentioned the card on his gravestone as mentioned in the older posts. Obtaining Met autographs has always been my passion and reasons just like this make it all worthwhile. May Mr. Powell rest in peace.

February 11, 2013
How did that end with the Mets? Was he released? Was he picked up by the Reds?

james alfano
February 19, 2016
I haven't seen any comments concerning the beaning Powell took when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Donn Clendenon in August of 63. His ERA prior to that incident was I believe around 2.50 with nearly as many k's as innings pitched, afterward his ERA ballooned to 5.09 and the game after the beaning he walked 5 batters in just a few innings. Could this incident have affected him to that degree? Does any one know if it did?

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