Douglas Lee Griffin (born June 4, 1947) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who played in the American League for the California Angels (1970) and Boston Red Sox (1971–77). He played his high school ball at El Monte High School (California), graduating in 1965, where he achieved All-Pacific League, All-Valley, and All-California Interscholastic Federation honors. He also lettered in basketball, football and track.
After a brief stint with the Angels in 1970, Griffin was sent to the Red Sox in a six-player trade that sent popular outfielder Tony Conigliaro to the Angels. Griffin was the Red Sox' regular second baseman from 1971 until mid-1975. He was not a particularly good hitter, posting mediocre batting averages with few walks and very little power, but he was an excellent fielder, winning a Gold Glove Award in 1972.
In June 1975, the Red Sox acquired veteran second baseman Denny Doyle from the Angels, and for the rest of the season, the left-handed-hitting Doyle was the Red Sox' primary second baseman, with the right-handed-hitting Griffin starting only against left-handed pitchers. Griffin did not appear in the American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics, and made only one brief appearance in the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Unfortunately, Griffin had more than his fair share of injuries, which without doubt served to shorten his career. On April 30, 1974, Griffin was beaned by a Nolan Ryan fastball knocking him unconscious. The beaning left him with a concussion and temporary hearing loss, and likely caused the premature end to Griffin's career. On August 30, 1975 Griffin was beaned again, this time by Oakland's Dick Bosman. Griffin experienced hearing and equilibrium problems, but recovered very quickly. This time he had been wearing an ear flap with his protective helmet. Griffin played only sparingly in 1976, and was released after playing in only 5 games in 1977.
Griffin did not continue a career in baseball following his release from the Red Sox. He worked briefly for his father in the construction trade in California in the late 1970s, and performed the same kind of work in the 1980s for Buddy LeRoux, who had a construction business in Winter Haven, Florida. Griffin is now retired and currently resides in Fresno, California. The Griffins have two children, Natalie and Chad, and four grandchildren.
By Dean Hanley
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