Johnny Grubb was born in Richmond, Virginia and attended Meadowbrook High School. After graduation, Grubb enrolled at Manatee Junior College. After his sophomore year, Grubb was drafted four times in a two-year span. Grubb was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1969, but decided instead to transfer to Florida State University, where he starred on the squad that compiled a 49-9 record and finished as runner-up for the NCAA Championship. On January 13, 1971, Grubb was selected with the 24th pick in the amateur draft’s secondary phase by the San Diego Padres. Grubb signed with the Padres and made his major league debut on September 10, 1972. The following year, Grubb batted .311 with eight home runs in 113 games and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. Grubb saw more playing time in 1974, and he took advantage of it. He batted .286 with eight home runs in 140 games and was named a National League All-Star. Throughout his 16-year career in Major League Baseball, Grubb played for the San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers. Grubb helped lead the 1984 Detroit Tigers to a World Series Championship. In 1986, at age 37, Grubb had the best statistical season in his career by batting .333 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs. In 1,424 major league games, Grubb collected 1,153 career hits, 99 home runs, and finished with a career batting average of .278.