Mark Grace

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

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 on May 2, 1988.

Mark Grace was never a flashy, power hitter, and was often overlooked on a Cubs team that included Sammy Sosa, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. However, Grace was a consistent, steady hitter, compiling almost 2,500 hits and over 500 doubles over his 16-year career. He also had a career on-base percentage of .383 and collected four Gold Glove Awards. He hold the distinction of collecting the most base hits (1,754) and doubles (364) in the decade of the 1990s.

In 2000, Mark Grace and the Chicago Cubs management had a falling out, resulting in the Cubs not pursuing the renewal of his contract. While he was a fan favorite, he and star right-fielder Sammy Sosa feuded, and some in the front office resented Grace's pack-a-day smoking habit and his hijinks while enjoying Chicago's nightlife. Young pubcrawlers in Chicago still reference the phrase "slumpbuster," a phrase coined by Grace. Grace befriended young pitchers Kyle Farnsworth and Kerry Wood in the late 1990s, and some observers believe Grace's tutelage has helped feed Farnsworth's affinity for the nightlife.

However, the Arizona Diamondbacks proceeded to sign him, where he played for three more seasons, including helping the Diamondbacks to a World Series victory in 2001.

On September 26, 2003, Mark Grace announced his retirement from playing major league baseball. He continues his involvement in the game as a television color commentator for the Arizona Diamondbacks, broadcasting games with partner Thom Brennaman. Mark 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.

Mark Grace resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona with wife Tanya and sons Jackson Gene and Preston Torre.

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