A two-time all-star, Gruber played for 10 years, all but one of them for the Toronto Blue Jays, from 1984-1994. In 939 games, he hit .259 with 117 home runs while winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Gruber first arrived in the big leagues in 1984 but had to wait until 1987 to become Toronto’s starting third baseman. He hit 12 home runs that season and 16 more in 1988 before making his first all-star team in 1989, when he hit .290 with 18 homers. The following season would go down as the high-water mark of Gruber’s career. In 1990 he hit .274 while setting career highs in home runs (31), RBIs (118) and runs scored (92). He went to his second All-Star Game that year and won his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Gruber hit another 20 home runs in 1991 but saw his production decrease the following season and Toronto traded him to the California Angels at the end of the year. Bulging disks in his neck and a torn rotator cuff limited Gruber to just 18 games with the Halos in 1993. The team released him at the end of the season and he sat out the next three years. He attempted a comeback in 1997 and played in the minors for the Baltimore Orioles organization, but never got called up.
Gruber was a member of the 1992 Blue Jays team that beat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. He started at third base in all six games, hitting .105 with a home run.
He was the first player to hit for the cycle for Toronto. He pulled off the feat on April 16, 1989, against the Kansas City Royals.
Kelly Gruber – career stats