Mark Grace joins minor-league D-backs' coaching staff

Mark Grace joins minor-league D-backs' coaching staff
December 20, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Tony Andracki

When Mark Grace hung up his spikes, people around the game were quick to pinpoint jobs in baseball where he would succeed as a coach.

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Grace, now 49, was rumored to be among those considered for the Arizona Diamondbacks managerial gig in 2005 (a job that went to Bob Melvin), but nothing materialized.

Now, after almost a decade in broadcasting, Grace has taken his first official coaching job, signing on as the hitting instructor for the Diamondbacks' Single-A affiliate in Hillsboro, which owns one of the coolest logos in professional sports.

Grace owns a .303 batting average and 2,445 hits over his 16-year career. While starring for the Cubs in the 1990s, Grace racked up an .835 OPS and 1,754 hits, more than any other player in the decade.

The three-time All-Star joins a loaded coaching staff, featuring 1990 NL Cy Young winner Doug Drabek as the pitching instructor and former top catching prospect J.R. House as the manager.

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Grace retired following the 2003 season and immediately joined the Fox broadcast team, partnering with Thom Brennaman, whom Cubs fans will remember as the annoucer during the infamous Steve Bartman incident in 2003.

Grace later joined the Diamondbacks broadcast team as a color commentator, where he remained through the 2012 season. He left the booth under controversy and actually spent some time in jail early in 2013 following a DUI.