Thursday, May 5, 2016

Don Grate

Donald Jeffrey Grate

August 27, 1923
Greenfield, OH

November 22, 2014
Miami Gardens, FL

1939-40 McClain High School - Greenfield, Ohio (High School)
1940-41 McClain High School - Greenfield, Ohio (High School)
1941-42 McClain High School - Greenfield, Ohio (High School)
1942-43 Ohio State University (College) - Freshmen
1943-44 Ohio State University (College)
1944-45 Ohio State University (College)
1945-46 Columbus All-Stars (Independent)
1945-46 Ohio DNO (Independent)
1945-46 Coshocton Athletic Club (Independent)
1947-48 Indianapolis Kautskys (NBL)
1949-50 Sheboygan Redskins (NBA)
Norland High School - Florida (High School) - Head coach

Grate was a star athlete in high school, playing basketball, baseball and football. He went to Ohio State, playing basketball and baseball there. After graduating, he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies and was called up to the club by the end of the season. After two brief stints in the major leagues, he suffered an arm injury that ended his time as a pitcher. Always a decent hitter, he tried his hand as an outfielder. He did well, but not well enough to return to the major leagues, and quit baseball in 1957.
Grate used basketball as a way to stay in shape in baseball's off-season. In October of 1946, he signed with Chicago of the BAA, but apparently did not play. A year later, he joined up with Indianapolis in the NBL, but was released by the club in December of 1947. Later played with Sheboygan in the NBA.

Grate held the record for the longest throw of a baseball, with a 445 foot throw that stood as the record for 50 years.

He was married to Marjorie Hanner and they had a son and a daughter.

Major League Baseball Stats

Coshocton News, January 22, 1946
Wilmington News-Journal (Ohio), October 18, 1946
Obituary, Highland County Press


1 comment:

  1. I had Mr. Grate as a teacher at Miami Norland Sr. High circa 1984. He was my Health teacher for half the year while the other half was Drivers Education. Mr. Grate was a decent man who had a sense of humour. He never brought up the record he held for being 1 of 8 men to play in a least one professional baseball and basketball game. Also, he holds/held the record for furthest baseball thrown at 443' 3/4". Mr. Grate I hope we meet again.