A project unrelated to Bus Leagues brought me to Baseball-Almanac.com tonight. Since it was my first visit in quite some time, I scrolled down the main page, which led to a section of articles on the minor leagues. While none of the subject matter immediately stood out, the last quote at the bottom of the page made me laugh out loud.
Joe Grzenda spent eleven years in the Minor Leagues and when he finally made it up to the Washington Senators he was quoted by “The Sporting News” as saying, “I’d like to stay in baseball long enough to buy a bus, then set fire to it!”
The Senators were actually Grzenda’s fifth major league team and he didn’t play there until eight years after his debut, but I can still appreciate the sentiment. This was one man for whom the words “bus league” were clearly dirty.
According to both Baseball-Almanac.com and Baseball-Reference.com, Grzenda is still living. I would love to have a chat with him about those comments from forty years ago…and to find out if the $27,000 Baseball-Almanac reports that he earned from Washington between 1970 and 1971 was enough coin to get that bus.