Mark Grace has made an abrupt turn-about in the 16 months since leaving "Tent City," Maricopa County's infamous jail. After being convicted in January of 2013 for a second DUI offense, Grace served four months jail time in the Arizona penal system. Grace was allowed to leave the facility each day on a work-release permit, but the cold nights surrounded by snoring inmates kept him awake long into the morning hours, giving him plenty of time to meditate on his current state of affairs, and reflect on his transgressions.

Grace hasn't had a drink since beginning his sentence. He understands the gifts he's been given in life, and how close he came to throwing them away. He's also vowed to remain sober for the sake of his two children, sons Jackson and Preston. In the aftermath of his arrest and jail time, Grace has unmistakably altered his outlook on life. New priorities have replaced bad habits.

The Diamondbacks organization has stood by Mark during his trying times. First, they offered him a position as a spring instructor that allowed him the opportunity to receive the work release permit while serving his jail sentence. After his release, the team stood by him again, offering him the chance to reenter the baseball establishment, albeit at the lowest rungs on the organization ladder. In 2014, Grace has served as a hitting instructor for the Class A Diamondbacks affiliate, the Hillsboro Hops (Hillsboro, Oregon). It was a far cry from his days in the Major Leagues, but a fresh start back in the “purest” levels of baseball has been just what the doctor ordered.

If you were a betting man, like the folks that frequent William Hill Baseball Betting, you probably would have bet heavily against Mark Grace in the early months of 2013. Athletes that are thrust into the spotlight for their privileged and reckless attitudes seldom make comebacks. But Grace has defied the odds by taking charge of his life in a serious manner, and setting himself back on the straight and narrow.

"The good thing is it's over with," Grace said in a Chicago Tribune interview in March 2014. "I've paid my debt to society. I've paid my debt to the people of Arizona and I've paid my debt to myself. It might be a disguised blessing. It got me an opportunity to get back on the field. Thank God for the Diamondbacks for having my back on this and offering me the opportunity. Now it's a whole new baseball life again. It's awesome."

The latest chapter in Mark Grace's life began with him reporting to the Hops in June of 2014. He spends his days now helping the mostly fresh-out-of-high-school prospects work on both the mental and physical aspects of the game. Along with adjusting swings and strides, Grace adjusts how these raw students of the game approach their at-bats, with an understanding of what the pitcher is trying to accomplish and what type of pitch may be thrown in certain circumstances.

So far, his students are taking his message to hearts. The Hops won their league's first half championship, and Grace is proud of them. For his fans, the pride is mutual. But their greatest pride is in seeing Grace take care of himself, and make the most of his second chance. is not affiliated with Mark Grace, his management or Major League Baseball.
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