Mark Eugene Grace (born June 28, 1964) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman who spent 16 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks of the National League (NL). He was a member of the 2001 World Series champion Diamondbacks that beat the New York Yankees. Grace batted and threw left-handed; he wore jersey number 28 and 17 during his rookie season of 1988, and he kept number 17 for the remainder of his career.
Grace at the 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Alumni Game
|Born: June 28, 1964|
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|May 2, 1988, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2003, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Runs batted in||1,146|
|Career highlights and awards|
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.
Grace starred on Cubs teams that included Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson and Sammy Sosa and was a consistent, steady hitter, compiling almost 2,500 hits and more than 500 doubles during his 16-year career and for a few years batted clean-up for the Cubs. He had a career on-base percentage of .383 and collected four Gold Glove Awards and was a three-time All-Star (1993, 1995, 1997). He holds the distinction of having more hits and doubles in the 1990s than anyone else.
Grace helped lead the Cubs to the NL East division title in 1989 and the NL wild card in 1998. In the 1989 NLCS, Grace batted .647 in the five-game contest with a home run and three doubles, while driving in 8 of the total 16 runs scored by the Cubs in the series.
Grace led the team in average (.325), OBP (.393), hits (193), walks (71), doubles (39), and RBI (98 – a career high) in 1993 and was selected as an alternate to the NL All-Star team for the first time in his career. He also hit for the cycle on May 9 that year, and (as of the end of the 2018 season) is the most recent Cub to have done so. In 1995, Grace hit .326 with a .395 OBP and a .516 SLG, and hit 51 doubles (which led the NL). He was once again named to the NL All-Star team. Grace collected the most hits (1,754) and doubles (364) of any player in the 1990s. 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 sacrifice flies in the 1990s with 73.
The song that played most frequently on the Wrigley Field organ prior to a Grace at bat was "Taking Care of Business", which Grace explained was due to his bit part in a Jim Belushi film of the same name.
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."
Grace wore his familiar number 17 in Arizona where he played for three more seasons, including helping the Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series. Having never even visited Yankee Stadium, he belted a home run there in Game 4 of the series. Grace led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a single off Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera, which rallied the Arizona Diamondbacks to a come-from-behind victory in Game 7. His .515 batting average in League Championship Series play is a record for players in at least ten games.
During a 19–1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers in September 2002, Grace pitched one 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 would take a deep breath and then quickly turned his head towards the catcher.
On September 26, 2003, Grace announced his retirement from baseball.
Grace has stated a desire to manage a major league team at some point. He was considered for the Diamondbacks' managerial position following the 2004 season, but the Diamondbacks hired Bob Melvin instead.
Grace spent 2014 as hitting coach for the Diamondbacks' Class A Short Season affiliate Hillsboro Hops of the Northwest League. In 2015, he was promoted to the Diamondbacks to be their hitting coach. He was fired after the 2016 season.
After his retirement as a player, Grace continued his involvement in the game as a television color commentator for the Diamondbacks and for Fox Saturday Baseball. Grace's used off-the-wall terms—such as "slumpbuster", "never-say-die-mondbacks", and "Gas!"—during broadcasts. He was paired with Thom Brennaman on television from 2004 to 2006, and was paired with Daron Sutton from 2007 to 2012.
Grace also agreed to a deal with Fox Sports in 2007. He originally rotated between the studio and the number three booth. He was then promoted to the number two booth with Thom Brennaman for the 2008 and 2009 season, and Dick Stockton for the 2010 season. He reunited with Brennaman in 2011 before leaving the network at the end of the regular season. He was replaced by Eric Karros who had worked on the number three team with Kenny Albert.
On August 24, 2012, Grace requested an indefinite leave of absence from the booth, and at the end of the 2012 season, the team announced that he would not be returning for the 2013 season.
Grace was known to smoke cigarettes before and after Cub games, and reportedly at times, during games in the clubhouse.
In a 2003 radio interview with Jim Rome on Rome Is Burning, Grace defined what he called a 'slump buster' to get a team or player's bats going: "A slump-buster is if a team's in a slump, or if you personally are in a slump, you gotta find the fattest, gnarliest, grossest chick and you just gotta lay the wood to her. And when you do that, you're just gonna have instant success. And it could also be called jumping on a grenade for the team." This became one of the most played-again takes in Rome Is Burning history.
On August 3, 2006, Grace led the Wrigley Field crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch of the second game of a doubleheader between the Cubs and Diamondbacks; his appearance helped to improve his relationship with the Cubs, which had been strained since he left the team after the 2000 season.
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 future ballots. Grace received 4.1% of the vote and was dropped from further ballots.
Grace's ex-wife, Michelle, married Ray Liotta in 1997 after meeting at a Cubs game.. Liotta had played baseball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. As of 2006, he is divorced from his second wife, Tanya, who starred on the VH1 show Baseball Wives.
On October 3, 2012, a grand jury in Arizona indicted Grace on four felony counts stemming from his August 23, 2012, arrest in Scottsdale on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and without an interlock device. The Diamondbacks announced the following day that Grace would not return to his television broadcasting duties with the club. He subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in jail on January 31, 2013. The sentence included work-release jail time as well as two years of supervised probation. An interlock device was required to be installed in his vehicle for six months.
maintained by longtime fan Brad Wackerlin, known to many as 'The Ultimate Mark Grace Collector'
|Awards and achievements|
| Topps Rookie All-Star First Baseman
| National League Player of the Month
| Hitting for the cycle
May 9, 1993
The 1989 National League Championship Series was played between the National League West champion San Francisco Giants and the National League East champion Chicago Cubs. The Giants won the series four games to one, en route to losing to the Oakland Athletics in four games in the 1989 World Series.1991 Chicago Cubs season
The 1991 Chicago Cubs season was the 120th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 116th in the National League and the 76th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 77–83.1992 Chicago Cubs season
The 1992 Chicago Cubs season was the 121st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 117th in the National League and the 77th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 78–84.1992 MLB Japan All-Star Series
The 1992 MLB Japan All-Star Series was the fourth edition of the championship, a best-of-eight series between the All-Star teams from Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), then-called All-Japan.
MLB won the series by 6–1–1 and Mark Grace was named MVP.1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 64th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1993, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9-3.
This is also the last Major League Baseball All-Star Game to date to be televised by CBS.2001 World Series
The 2001 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2001 season. The 97th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Arizona Diamondbacks and the three-time defending World Series champions and American League (AL) champion New York Yankees. The Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees, four games to three to win the series. Considered one of the greatest World Series of all time, memorable aspects included two extra-inning games and three late-inning comebacks. Diamondbacks pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were both named World Series Most Valuable Players.
The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Oakland Athletics, three games to two, in the AL Division Series, and then the Seattle Mariners in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the Yankees' fourth consecutive World Series appearance, after winning championships in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The Diamondbacks advanced to the World Series by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, three games to two, in the NL Division Series, and then the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the franchise's first appearance in a World Series.
The Series began later than usual as a result of a delay in the regular season after the September 11 attacks and was the first to extend into November. The Diamondbacks won the first two games at home, limiting the Yankees to just one run. The Yankees responded with a close win in game 3, at which US President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch. In games 4 and 5, the Yankees won in comeback fashion, hitting game-tying home runs off Diamondbacks closer Byung-hyun Kim with one out remaining in consecutive games, before winning in extra innings. The Diamondbacks won game 6 in blowout, forcing a decisive game 7. In the final game, the Yankees led in the ninth inning before the Diamondbacks staged a comeback against closer Mariano Rivera, capped off by a walk-off, bases-loaded bloop single by Luis Gonzalez to clinch Arizona's championship victory. This was the third World Series to end in a bases-loaded, walk-off hit, following 1991 and 1997.
Among several firsts, the 2001 World Series was: the first World Series championship for the Diamondbacks; the first World Series ever played in the state of Arizona and the Mountain Time Zone; the first championship for a Far West state other than California; the first major professional sports team from the state of Arizona to win a championship; and the earliest an MLB franchise had ever won a World Series (the Diamondbacks had only existed for four years). The home team won every game in the Series, which had only happened twice before, in 1987 and 1991. The Diamondbacks outscored the Yankees, 37–14, as a result of large margins of victory achieved by Arizona at Bank One Ballpark relative to the one-run margins the Yankees achieved at Yankee Stadium. Arizona's pitching held powerhouse New York to a .183 batting average, the lowest in a seven-game World Series. This and the 2002 World Series were the last two consecutive World Series to have game sevens until the World Series of 2016 and 2017. The 2001 World Series was the subject of an HBO documentary, Nine Innings from Ground Zero, in 2004.2002 Arizona Diamondbacks season
The 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks looked to repeat as World Series champions. They looked to contend in what was once again a strong National League West Division. They finished the season with a record of 98-64, good enough for the division title. Randy Johnson would finish the season as the NL Cy Young Award winner and become the second pitcher to win five Cy Young Awards.2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 81st midseason exhibition between the All-Stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 2010, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the home of the American League Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and was telecast by Fox Sports in the US, with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in the broadcast booth. Fox also teamed with DirecTV to produce a separate 3D broadcast, the first ever for a network Major League Baseball game. Kenny Albert and Mark Grace called the 3D telecast. ESPN Radio also broadcast the game, with Jon Sciambi and Dave Campbell announcing. The National League won the game 3–1, ending a 13-game winless streak.This was the third All-Star Game hosted by the city of Anaheim, California, which previously hosted the game in 1967 and 1989. From 2003-16, the winning team earned home field advantage for the World Series. This was the first All Star Game the National League won since 1996, giving the NL said advantage in the World Series for the first time since 2001 – ironically, the winning pitcher, Washington Nationals closer Matt Capps, would go on to participate in the American League playoffs after his trade to the Minnesota Twins just a couple of weeks following the Midsummer Classic.
A short memorial honoring George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees who died early that morning, was held prior to the game.Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks, often shortened as the D-backs, are an American professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The club competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) West division. The team has played every home game in franchise history at Chase Field, formerly known as Bank One Ballpark. The Diamondbacks have won one World Series championship (defeating the New York Yankees in 2001) – becoming the fastest expansion team in the Major Leagues to win a championship, which it did in only the fourth season since the franchise's inception. They remain the only professional men's sports team from Arizona to have won a championship title.Assist (baseball)
In baseball, an assist (denoted by A) is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.
If a pitcher records a strikeout where the third strike is caught by the catcher, the pitcher is not credited with an assist. However, if the batter becomes a baserunner on a dropped third strike and the pitcher is involved in recording a putout by fielding the ball and either tagging the runner out or throwing to first base for the out, the pitcher is credited with an assist just as any other fielder would be.
Assists are an important statistic for outfielders, as a play often occurs when a baserunner on the opposing team attempts to advance on the basepaths when the ball is hit to the outfield (even on a caught fly ball that results in an out; see tag up). It is the outfielder's job to field the ball and make an accurate throw to another fielder who is covering the base before the runner reaches it. The fielder then attempts to tag the runner out. This is especially important if the runner was trying to reach home plate, as the assist and tag prevent the baserunner from scoring a run. Assists are much rarer for outfielders than infielders (with the exception of first basemen) because the play is harder to make, and also because outfielder assist situations occur less often than the traditional ground-ball assist for a shortstop, second baseman, or third baseman. However, as a result, outfield assists are worth far more than infield assists, and tell more about an outfielder's throwing arm than infielder assists do.
In recent years, some sabermetricians have begun referring to assists by outfielders as baserunner kills. Some sabermetricians are also using baserunner holds as a statistic to measure outfield arms.
A baserunner hold occurs when the baserunner does not attempt to advance an extra base on an outfielder out of concern of being thrown out by a strong, accurate throw. This can be combined with baserunner kills for better accuracy, as runners often do not try for an extra base when an outfielder with an excellent arm is playing.Daron Sutton
Daron Sutton (born October 21, 1969) is the former television play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona State Sun Devils men's basketball. Sutton is also the son of former pitching great and Hall of Famer Don Sutton. Prior to moving to Arizona, he served for five years as the television voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, and prior to coming to Milwaukee in 2002, he was one of the radio voices of the then-Anaheim Angels, working alongside current Detroit Tigers television play-by-play broadcaster Mario Impemba. Sutton replaced play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian (who left to become the TV voice of the San Diego Padres).Ex-Cubs Factor
The Ex-Cubs Factor (or Ex-Cub Factor) is a seemingly spurious correlation that was seen as essentially a corollary to the Curse of the Billy Goat. Widely published in the 1990s, the hypothesis asserted that since the appearance by the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series, any baseball team headed into the World Series with three or more former Cubs on its roster has "a critical mass of Cubness" and a strong likelihood of failure.Kazuya Fukuura
Kazuya Fukuura (福浦 和也, born December 14, 1975 in Narashino, Chiba) is a Japanese professional baseball first baseman for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He began his career as a pitcher.
His play and build drew comparisons to former Chicago Cub Mark Grace.List of Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasters
This article is a list of Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasters. The following is a historical list of the all-time Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasters:
Rod Allen, Television Analyst (1998–2002)
Bob Brenly, Television Analyst (1998–2000, 2013–present)
Joe Garagiola, Television Analyst (1998–2012)
Mark Grace, Television Analyst (2004–2012)
Steve Lyons, Television Analyst (2003–2004)
Jim Traber, Television Analyst (2001–2003)Television Play-by-Play
Steve Berthiaume, Television Play-by-Play (2013–present)
Thom Brennaman, Television Play-by-Play (1998–2006)
Greg Schulte, Radio and Television Play-by-Play (1998–present)
Daron Sutton, Television Play-by-Play (2006–2012)Radio
Rod Allen, Radio Analyst (1998–2002)
Thom Brennaman, Radio Play-by-Play (1998–2006)
Tom Candiotti, Radio Analyst (2006–present)
Mike Ferrin Fill-In/Secondary radio play-by-play (2016–present)
Jeff Munn, Fill-in/Secondary Radio Play-by-Play (2001–2015)
Ken Phelps, Radio Analyst (2004)
Greg Schulte, Radio Play-by-Play (1998-present)
Miguel Quintana, Spanish Radio Play-by-Play (1998–present)
Victor Rojas, Radio Analyst (2003)
Richard Saenz, Spanish Radio Analyst (2001–present)
Oscar Soria, Spanish Television and Radio Analyst (2000–present)
Jim Traber, Radio Analyst (2001–2003)List of Chicago Cubs team records
The following lists statistical records and all-time leaders as well as awards and major accomplishments for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball club of Major League Baseball. The records list the top 5 players in each category since the inception of the Cubs.
Players that are still active with the Cubs are denoted in bold.
Records updated as of August 5, 2011.List of Gold Glove Award winners at first base
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985 and 2007), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Keith Hernandez has won the most Gold Gloves at first base, capturing 11 consecutive awards in the National League from 1978 to 1988. In the American League, Don Mattingly won nine times with the New York Yankees for the second-highest total among first basemen, and George Scott won eight awards playing for the Boston Red Sox (three) and the Milwaukee Brewers (five). Victor Pellot, who played most of his major league career under the alias "Vic Power", and Bill White each won seven awards; six-time winners include Wes Parker and J. T. Snow. Steve Garvey and Mark Grace have won four Gold Gloves at the position, as well as Mark Teixeira as of 2010. Eddie Murray is the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to win a Gold Glove at first base in either league.Among winners, Garvey has made the most putouts in a season, with 1,606 in 1977. Murray leads American League winners in that category, with 1,538 in 1984. Kevin Youkilis has made the fewest errors in a season, also achieving the highest fielding percentage, when he went the entire 2007 season without an error for a fielding percentage of 1.000. Several players have made one error in a winning season, including Parker in 1968, Snow in 1998, and Rafael Palmeiro in 1999. Parker and Snow achieved a .999 fielding percentage in those seasons, as did Todd Helton in 2001. The player with the most errors in an award-winning season was Scott; he made 19 errors in 1967. Hernandez made the most assists in a season, with 149 in 1986 and 1987, and turned the most double plays in the National League (147) in 1983. The highest double play total in the major leagues belongs to Cecil Cooper, who turned 160 double plays in 1980.Darin Erstad won a Gold Glove as a first baseman in 2004 after winning two awards in the outfield (2000, 2002), making him the only player to win the award as an infielder and an outfielder. In 1999, Palmeiro won the Gold Glove with the Texas Rangers while only appearing in 28 games as a first baseman; he appeared in 135 games as a designated hitter that season, resulting in some controversy over his selection.List of Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio broadcasters
Listed below is a list of Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio broadcasters by both name and year since the program's debut on ESPN Radio in 1998.
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|
Website: Fox Sports - MLB News