John Gross, former Co-founder and Senior Executive Vice-President of PRO-DAY Baseball, was the "First" inductee into the PRO-DAY Baseball Hall-of-Fame on October 26, 2012
He started scouting professionally with the Texas Rangers in 1989 where he stayed until moving over to the Chicago Cubs in 1993.
John passed away on March 31, 2012 and since then his initials have been on every PRO-DAY cap for all the life's he touched thru baseball.
His son, John Preston, Jr. was presented with a Hall-of-Fame portrait and spoke about his father at the "Dinner Banquet of Champions" Ceremony, which was held at the Banquet Facilities at the Caribe Resort in Orange Beach, AL. Former Major League Catcher John Buck of the Miami Marlins was the "Guest Speaker" at the Banquet.
John was also a Part-Owner/General Manager of the Pine Bluff Locomotives, a Class A Minor League Team in the Big South League of Professional Baseball. Gross guided the LOCOS to the Championship Series in their inaugural season in 1996.
For more than 30-years, John has helped thousands of young baseball players teaching the game of baseball to them and has helped hundreds receive college scholarships or go into professional baseball.
Florida State University Director of Baseball Operations Chip Baker summed it up by saying," John was always trying to bring out the best qualities in players on and off the field. His continued dedication to the game of baseball and helping young players was second to none. John will be missed on the ball field; but, having known John, all our lives are better."
A eye for baseball talent, one example of a player John played a vital part in finding was a young pitcher named Matt Whiteside at a workout camp, who the Rangers would later draft in the late rounds. Whiteside worked his way up thru the minor league organizations to become a setup man and later a closer for the great Nolan Ryan in Texas.
John graduated from Harding University with a degree in Sports Management where he was a former shortstop for the Bisons. The former all-state shortstop led Pine Bluff High (AR) to the championship game in 1978. John was an "All-Around Athlete" where he lettered in basketball & track in school. He also was named "Bowler of the Year" in 1978.
He was honored in his hometown in 1988-90 for "Working with the Year" at "All-Civic Night" in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. John was involved with the "Fellowship of Christian Athletes" in school and later with PRO-DAY Baseball.
2014 INDUCTEE - BILL EARNHART
Former Major League Scout/National Scouting Director for PRO-DAY
2016 INDUCTEE - DANNY MARTIN
Orange Beach Stadium Operations Director