Marv Grissom was born on March 31, 1918, in Los Molinos, California. He went to Los Robles for his first eight years of school, and then attended Red Bluff High for two years.

He had played one year of professional baseball, for the San Bernardino Stars in the California League in the summer of 1941. San Bernardino had been a Giants farm club before the war, but he had been on a Hollywood Stars contract. He never played for Hollywood, though he’d attended spring training with them in 1941, but after the San Bernardino club ceased operations, Hollywood gave him his unconditional release.

Marv was drafted, and served in the US Army from October 10, 1941. As a medic, he was stationed on the Pacific island of Tinian from December 18, 1944, to December 13, 1945. He did get in some pitching during the war before being sent to the Pacific. Pitching for the Camp Callan team, he threw back-to-back two-hitters.

After the war, he spent 10 seasons pitching in the big leagues, finishing 47-45 with a 3.41 ERA. 

Marv was signed by the New York Giants as a free agent after the war. It was surprising he made it to the big leagues in 1946, his first full year in pro ball, particularly given that so many veterans with major-league experience were returning from military service. But he did, playing first for the Jersey City Giants in the Triple-A International League and joined the Giants in September. 

He just missed a no-hitter in his first game of 1947 (on a ball that was foul but struck a clump of sod and bounced into the third baseman’s glove in fair territory), but had a very disappointing season, spending the full year in Triple A with Minneapolis and bearing an ERA of 6.26.

Prior to the 1948 season the Giants sent him to Sacramento. In November he was taken by the Detroit Tigers in the Rule 5 draft. The Tigers played him throughout 1949  and he spent the next two years in the minors, 1950 and 1951, before getting another shot. 

In January 1951 the Tigers traded him to the Seattle Rainiers and he was back in the Coast League. In October Seattle traded him to the Chicago White Sox.

Chicago then engineered a trade with the Red Sox. The White Sox sent three pitchers (Grissom, Hal Brown, and Bill Kennedy) to Boston for Vern Stephens in early February 1953. Marv was 35 years old at the time and his first start for the Red Sox resulted in a 1-0 loss to Allie Reynolds and the Yankees. He won his next start, 8-1, against the Indians, and then shut out the White Sox in his fourth decision. He was struck on the ankle by a batted ball in June and had a 3.05 ERA at the time, but had lost four decisions in a row by the end of June and had a 4.70 ERA. In July, the Red Sox called up Ike Delock and sold Marv on waivers to the New York Giants. 

After the season he joined the Giants for an exhibition tour of Japan and the Pacific Islands. In 1954 Marv had his best year, and was named an All-Star. He was mostly a closer, appearing in 56 games and finishing 36 of them. He had an excellent 2.35 ERA and it was the first of four consecutive seasons in which his earned-run average was under 3.00.

In 1955 he worked exclusively in relief with a 2.92 ERA, in 1956 his ERA for the season was a skimpy 1.56, and in 1957 his ERA was 2.61. 

Along with the team, Marv moved to San Francisco in 1958. He played the full season at 40 years old and his ERA was 3.99. In October, the Giants traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals.

He pitched only a total of two innings for the Cardinals, over the course of three games in June and his ERA was 22.50. It was a back injury that had sidelined him and in June 1959 he asked for voluntary retirement. He remained on the books of the Cardinals through the rest of 1959 and 1960, until he was finally released in December 1960. 

Marvs work in baseball was far from done, however. In 1961 he went to work as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels, a position he held for six seasons, through 1966. In 1967 and 1968 he was the pitching coach for the White Sox. In 1969 he came back to the Angels one season and in 1970 and 1971 he was the pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins. After being out of baseball for three years, he was brought back to work as pitching coach for the Cubs in 1975 and 1976. His final stint was his third one with the Angels, in 1978 and 1979.

In the years after his retirement, Grissom was active in the community, as a Mason, a Shriner, with his local golf club, as well as hunting, fishing, and gardening.

On September 17, 2005, Marv Grissom passed away at age 87.