Mark Grace: Wikis


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Mark Grace
First baseman
Born: June 28, 1964 (1964-06-28) (age 45)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
May 2, 1988 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2003 for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Career statistics
Batting average     .303
Hits     2,445
Home runs     173
Runs batted in     1,146
Career highlights and awards

Mark Eugene Grace (born June 28, 1964 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball player for 16 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks. His defensive position was first base. He batted left-handed and wore jersey number 17.




Baseball career

Mark played high school baseball and basketball at Tustin High School in Tustin, California.

After playing baseball for San Diego State University, Grace was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1985. He spent three years playing in the Cubs farm system before making his major league debut May 2, 1988.

Chicago Cubs

Grace was never a flashy power hitter, and was often overlooked on Cubs teams that included Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa. However, Grace was a consistent, steady hitter, compiling almost 2,500 hits and more than 500 doubles during his 16-year career. He had a career on-base percentage of .383 and collected four Gold Glove Awards.

Grace holds the distinction of collecting the most hits (1,754) in the decade of the 1990s. Currently Grace and Pete Rose are the only major league baseball players to lead a decade in hits and not be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Grace also had the most doubles in the 1990s with 364 and the most sacrifice flies with 73.

He was the last Cub to have hit for the cycle, doing so on Sunday, May 9, 1993.[1]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Mark Grace signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on December 8, 2000 with a $6 million, two-year contract after the Cubs declined to offer salary arbitration. The deal included a mutual $3 million option year in 2003. He received $5.3 million in his last season with the Cubs but accepted less money for the opportunity to live year-round at his home in suburban Scottsdale, Arizona with his family. "For me to remain a Cub, the Cubs would have wanted to want me back and the Cubs would have had to win," Grace said at the time. "Neither of those happened and I'm one proud Diamondback now."[2]

Grace wore his familiar No. 17 in Arizona where he played for three more seasons, including helping the Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series. He never before even visited Yankee Stadium, and belted a home run in Game 4 of the series.[3] Grace was also responsible for leading off the bottom of the 9th inning with a single off Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera which rallied the Arizona Diamondbacks to an improbable come-from-behind victory in Game 7. His .515 batting average in League Championship Series play is a record for players in at least 10 games.

During a 19–1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002, Grace pitched an inning of relief. He surrendered one run on catcher David Ross's first career home run. Grace also impersonated teammate Mike Fetters, who from the stretch takes a deep breath, then quickly turns his head towards the hitter.

Broadcasting career

On September 26, 2003, Grace announced his retirement from baseball. He continues his involvement in the game as a television color commentator for the Diamondbacks and for Fox Saturday Baseball. Grace's trademark unusual style and off-the-wall terms (such as "slumpbuster", "never-say-die-mondbacks", and "Gas!") bring a unique quality to the Diamondbacks' broadcast team. Grace has stated a desire to coach a major league team in the future. He was considered for the Diamondbacks' managerial position following the 2004 season, but the Diamondbacks hired Bob Melvin instead.

On August 3, 2006, Grace returned to Wrigley Field and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th-inning stretch for the first time.

He was paired with Thom Brennaman on television from 2004 to 2006 and has been paired with Daron Sutton since 2007. His current contract with the Diamondbacks runs through the 2010 season.

Grace also agreed to a deal with Fox Sports in 2007. He has worked on regional telecasts of Fox Saturday Baseball since 2007, he works on the No. 2 team with Thom Brennaman.

Personal life

His ex-wife, Michelle, was also married to Ray Liotta, who played baseball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. As of 2006, he is divorced from his second wife Tanya.

Grace lived in Antioch, Tennessee during a period of his childhood years.

He currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona with his sons Jackson Gene and Preston Torre.

Hall of Fame candidacy

Grace became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. 75% of the vote was necessary for induction, and 5% was necessary to stay on the ballot. He received 4.1% of the vote and dropped off the ballot.


See also

External links


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