Posted September 8, 2003
For the first time in his career, Mark was used as a pinch runner during a game versus San Francisco. He wound up scoring the game-tying run. 'Versatility,'' Grace quipped the day after. ''That's what can keep you in the majors a long time.'' Grace, of course, is not known for his speed and his basepath prowlness has been likened to "running with a piano on his back." Felix Jose becomes the answer to the trivia question: Who is the only player to be pinch ran for by Mark Grace?
Posted August 28, 2003
Mark spent an offday today in Flagstaff, Arizona, appearing at the dedication of Mark Grace Field. It is the 12th youth ballfield to be built under the "Diamonds Back" program, which is in partnership with APS. The field is in Arroyo Park and will be used by Coconino Little League. Mark provided funds for the project, as well as Diamondback Charities and other contributors of both time, materials and money.
Posted June 27, 2003
If you need a laugh,
you've got to read this interview with Mark Grace on his funniest
baseball moments and teammates. You'll laugh out loud!
Posted June 17, 2003
What are Mark's chances of making the Hall of Fame? Between zero and none, says novelist and ESPN writer Rob Neyer in an excerpt from his new book "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups." And while I think Grace's credentials are better than Mr. Neyer gives him credit for, I have to admit that I too believe his bid for the Hall will fall just short. Grace's statistics just don't stack up to Hall of Fame credentials, seeing as he probably won't reach 2,500 hits before the end of his career. I've explored my own survey of Mark's Hall of Fame potential (click on HALL OF FAME link in the navigation bar) - see if you agree with my assessment.
Posted June 4, 2003
What is Grace's take on the Sammy Sosa corked bat incident? One part humor: "Had I known when I played in Chicago there were corked bats in the bat rack, I probably would have hit 25 home runs," and one part jab at Sosa: "He's going to have to answer a lot of questions. It's weird. Instead of hitting them 500 feet, he wants to hit them 550, I guess."
Posted June 3, 2003
If you're wondering how the Shea Hillenbrand for Byung-Hyun Kim trade will affect Mark, it could mean even less playing time for the veteran first baseman. Hillenbrand has played at first in the past, and could fill in their on Overbay's off days if manager Bob Brenly wants a right handed batter in the lineup. Overall, it probably won't affect Grace very much as Hillenbrand will start most days at third.
Posted May 23, 2003
What's next for Grace
after his playing days are done? Mark discusses his options, including
his thoughts on broadcasting and managing, with MLB.com's Steve Gilbert
in this article on the Arizona Diamondback's official team site:
Posted April 21, 2003
Mark tried to play peacemaker during a bench-clearing brawl on Sunday, and ended up getting hurt for his efforts. When Tino Martinez and Miguel Batista got involved in a scuffle, Grace tried to keep Cardinal's catcher Mike Matheny from joining in the fracas, but a pile of players feel on top of him, causing him to do the splits, which caused a groin pull. He is expected to miss a few games as a result.
Posted April 2, 2003
In his first at-bat of the 2003 season, Grace led off the 10th inning as a pinch hitter and promptly doubled off reliever Paul Shuey. The hit started the game winning rally for the Diamondbacks. It was career double number 507 for Mark, which moved him past the great Babe Ruth for sole possession of 35th on the all-time doubles list. Grace is 4th among active major leaguers in doubles, trailing Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro. Did you know that of all the men to play major league baseball, Amazing Grace is now number 91 on the all-time hits list? That's quite a testament to his sweet swing!
Posted March 6, 2003
Grace is recovering from a "Grade 1" strain in his right calf muscle incurred while breaking to cover first base during a spring training game on Sunday, May 2. An MRI determined that it was not a muscle tear and he is expected back towards the middle of next week. Manager Bob Brenly says they will be over cautious and keep him out until it is 100%. Lyle Overbay is getting a lot of time at first base, but has yet to heat up at the plate, batting .167 through Wednesday. If Overbay struggles this spring, look for Grace to get the majority of starts at the beginning of the season if he is healthy.
Posted January 9, 2003
In case you haven't read the papers, Grace has signed a new contract with the Diamondbacks for the 2003 season. The contract is for one year with a team option for 2004. The Diamondbacks have traded Eurbiel Durazo, so the first base situation for 2003 looks like Grace will be splitting time with rookie Lyle Overbay. Overbay is expected to benefit from Grace's tutelage in the defensive aspects of playing the position.
Posted December 11, 2002
Grace wins! Mark was announced the winner of MLB.com's "This Year in Baseball Award" for the category of "Blooper of the Year" (see posting from November 11). Did the link below help Grace win? I have to hope so, although it was described as a landslide win. Anyone who saw his pitching performance will understand why! If you never did get a chance to see his hurling debut, click here for a QuickTime movie of the highlights.
Posted December 10, 2002
According to a story in the Arizona Republic, Grace's home in Paradise Valley was burgurlized on Thanksgiving night. Police are searching for what have been dubbed the "Rock Burglar's" who have plagued the local community with over 250 other victims. They are so named because they smash windows with large rocks or other heavy objects. Teammate Steve Finley has also been victimized by the Rock Burglars. No word on what was stolen from Grace's home.
Posted October 1, 2002
Manager Bob Brenly has named Mark as his starting firstbaseman for tonight's Game 1 of the NLDS. "At playoff time, there's a premium on pitching and defense," Brenly said. "Not meant as a slight to Ruby, but certainly there are very few defensive first basemen out there as good as Mark Grace. . . and the very positive byproduct of that is that we have a very dangerous left-handed bat available to use off the bench in Durazo."
Mark predicts the series with the Cardinals will go 5 games. "They're a great team and we feel like we're a great team, and that's why I think it'll go five games, I'm sure, and probably some extra innings in Game 5."
Mark wrote some of his own thoughts
for MLB.com today:
Grace was quoted widely today in the
media. Here's some further reading:
Posted September 28, 2002
A 17-8 drubbing of the Colorado Rockies means the Diamondbacks have claimed the NL West title for the second consecutive year. The Diamondbacks will take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.
Posted September 27, 2002
In Friday night's game, Mark went 3 for 5 and drove in two RBIs to help defeat the Colorado Rockies and decrease Arizona's magic number for clinching the NL West to 1 game. One of his three hits was double number 506 in his career, tying him with Babe Ruth for 35th on the all-time doubles list. "A couple of guys said you tied your teammate and a couple others said you and Babe had the same lifestyle," said Grace. "Hey, it's nice. Anytime you're in the same category as him you've done pretty well. I'm very flattered and humbled by that."
Posted September 24, 2002
With a loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, Grace is headed back to the playoffs, as the Diamondbacks have clinched at least a wildcard spot in the postseason. Two more wins or Dodger losses will earn the Diamondbacks the NL West crown.
Posted September 21, 2002
Mark went 4 for 5 on Saturday against the Rockies, hitting three singles and his 7th homerun of the season. In the process, he raised his batting average 10 points to .251. It was his first 4 hit game since August 30, 2000.
Posted September 13, 2002
According to the Arizona Republic, Mark has agreed to return for one more year on the Diamondbacks. Grace acknowledges that his role will be limited to bench duty, but relishes his situation in Arizona. He was quoted as saying "I'll play one more year and then take it to the house (retire). I don't mind coming back to be on the bench, because I like it here. Even when you're not an everyday player, winning is fun. For me, this is baseball paradise." Who could blame him? After years of frustrating results with the Cubs, playing with perennial contenders the Diamondbacks has to be a dream come true. It's great that owner Jerry Colangelo recognizes the leadership and experience Mark brings to the ballclub. And with a little bit of luck, Mark will reach the 2,500 hit plateau before he hangs up his spikes.
Congratulations Mark! We'll enjoy your final swan song in whatever capacity it takes.
For the full story, read Pedro Gomez's
Posted September 3, 2002
In case you missed it, Grace pitched for the first time in his 15-year major league career during the 9th inning of the Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers game on September 2nd. Mark threw 12 pitches, 7 for strikes, and allowed one homerun (the first major league homerun for David Moss). The other three batters were retired on fly ball outs. Grace never topped 70 on the radar gun, yet said on Wednesday that he was sore all over and had a new respect for major league pitchers. He used to joke to Cubs teammate Rick Sutcliffe that pitching was easy, so it must have been a delight for Sutcliffe to be in the broadcasting booth for Grace's pitching debut. Grace entertained the crowd doing a dead-on Mike Fetters impersonation that had to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Said Mark on his matchup with Moss,
"I didn't have a scouting report on him. Obviously he can hit 65
Further reading on this historic event:
Watch video highlights of his performance
not affiliated with Mark Grace, his management or Major League Baseball.