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.
defensive position was first base
batted left-handed and wore jersey number 17.
played high school baseball and basketball at Tustin High School in Tustin, California.
playing baseball for San Diego State University, Grace was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in .
He spent three years
playing in the Cubs farm system before making his major league
debut May 2, .
Grace was never a flashy power hitter, and was often overlooked on
Cubs teams that included Ryne
, 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.
In , Grace and the Chicago Cubs management had a falling out and
the Cubs decided not to renew his contract.
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
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.
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
Stadium, and belted a home run in Game 4 of the
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
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
, who from the stretch takes a deep breath, then quickly
turns his head towards the hitter.
On September 26, , 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
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
season, but the Diamondbacks hired Bob
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
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
in 2007. He has worked on regional telecasts of Fox
Saturday Baseball since 2007, he works on the No. 2 team with Thom
His ex-wife, Michelle, was also married to Ray Liotta
, who played baseball player "Shoeless"
Joe Jackson in Field of
. As of 2006, he is divorced from his second wife
Grace lived in Antioch, Tennessee
during a period of his childhood years.
currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona with his sons Jackson Gene and Preston
- D'backs sign Grace to two-year contract
- Mark Grace