Mark Grace, a former Chicago Cubs first baseman, had a solid MLB career.
Reading: Where is mark grace now
Over 16 years, he broke the mold of the typical first baseman.
This was especially true at a time when power numbers were beginning to inflate due to the widespread use of steroids in the sport.
gracia was instead a contact hitter from the left side of the plate.
He was a consistent average threat over .300 every year, plus he always seemed to hit doubles.
grace was also a skilled fielder at first base, winning a few gold gloves at the position throughout his career.
grace mark (#mlb 1988-2003)
2445 hits511 doubles4x gold glove winner3x all-star pic.twitter.com/xr8d1asnic
—circlinthebases (@circlinthebases) January 1, 2021
After retiring, he remained in the sport in various capacities.
We take a look at grace’s career and what happened to the former major leaguer.
a wrigley basic
grace was drafted by the cubs in the 24th round of the 1985 mlb draft.
Although he was a lower draft pick, he was still able to work his way through the system after some impressive seasons in the minor leagues.
He was called up to the Cubs in 1988, where he put together a solid rookie campaign.
in 134 games, grace had seven home runs, 57 RBIs and a .296 batting average, finishing second in voting for rookie of the year.
This began his run as one of the most consistent first basemen in mlb.
In 1989 and 1990, he hit .314 and .309 as he was able to bump up his power numbers a bit.
He also stole at least 14 bases each year, which is not very common for a first baseman.
however, grace finally took the next step forward during the 1993 season when he was voted to his first all-star team.
During 155 games, he hit .325 with 14 home runs and 98 RBIs.
In 1995, he had the best year of his career.
grace hit a .326 average with 16 home runs and 92 RBIs, earning him his second all-star appearance.
brand grace the great | and a cycle! #puppies pic.twitter.com/phn7xkf9lc
— cubs native (@cubsnative) May 13, 2020
The next season, he was able to raise his average to .331.
This was in the midst of the peak of his career, as he hit at least .309 every year between 1995 and 1999.
his last year in chicago was in 2000, when the aging grace began to take a step back statistically.
Although he still hit 11 home runs, his average fell to .280, the lowest since 1991.
grace joins the diamondbacks
After the 2000 season, Grace signed a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
after 13 seasons for the @cubs, grace spent her last three years in the desert. His tenure with the Cubs included three ASG selections, four Gold Gloves, a .308 average and 1,754 hits in the ’90s (mostly in MLB.)
wrong t-shirt wednesday (big pups in wrong t-shirts) pic.twitter.com/1tbln3suuh
: all theo’s moves (daily random cub) (@dailyrandomcub) May 20, 2020
joined a diamondbacks team that was packed with a strong rotation, which helped lead them to the 2001 playoffs.
During the playoffs, Grace helped lead the team’s offensive charge.
in his nlcs matchup against the atlanta braves, he batted .375.
for the world series, grace hit .263 with a game-tying home run in game 4.
Grace and the Diamondbacks were finally able to defeat the New York Yankees in seven games and take home the World Series trophy.
grace lasted only two more seasons in mlb as his production dwindled rapidly.
retired after playing just 66 games in the 2003 season.
In her 16-year career, Grace had 2,445 hits, 173 home runs and a .303 average.
fun remains in baseball
After his retirement, he expressed his desire to return to the sport as a coach.
after being a finalist for the diamondbacks’ managerial job in 2004, he was not hired.
In 2011 and 2012, Grace struggled with alcohol and was arrested twice for driving under the influence in a matter of 15 months.
grace took responsibility for her actions and vowed to change her life while helping others as well.
The Diamondbacks suspended and fired Grace after her arrest.
“I did this,” he said. “The diamondbacks did nothing. I think it’s important to own this. I own this.”
While the Diamondbacks fired Grace from the booth, they vowed to support him and did not rule out his continuing to play a role in the organization.
“mark has always been an important part of our family, so naturally we’d be here to support him…we look forward to his future involvement with the organization.”
In 2013, the Diamondbacks gave Grace his first professional baseball coaching job when he served as the hitting coach for a Diamondbacks minor league team.
in 2015 he was promoted to the team’s major league club as hitting coach.
He stayed there until the 2016 season.
In 2017, Grace returned to the broadcast booth as a color commentator for the Diamondbacks and Fox Sports.
“After a break of six or seven years, I will have to relearn life with a microphone in my hand,” Grace said. “It’s before and after the game, a few home games here and there; I don’t know exactly how many games yet. but it will be good. keeps you close. keeps you seen, keeps you heard. keeps you around the arizona diamondbacks. this is the organization that I really love.”
check grace’s favorite snack? potato rolls. pic.twitter.com/iczbrgeqaw
— marquee sports network (@watchmarquee) February 23, 2020
In February 2020, he was hired as a select analyst for Chicago Cubs telecasts, continuing to be the lead commentator for Fox Sports Arizona.
grace made headlines once again in 2020 while on air when he called his ex-wife a “fool” on a live stream.
Throughout his life, Grace has been a constant part of the baseball world, both on and off the field.
He had a great career, where he was one of the most consistent hitters at the first base position.
grace also has a legacy in both chicago and arizona, establishing herself as a central part of each team.