Former Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Mark Grace is slowly returning to “baseball normalcy” as he comes up on a year since he began serving a 4-month jail sentence as a repeat offender for Driving Under the influence. According to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports “Eye on Baseball”, Grace was named hitting instructor for the Hillsboro Hops (A, Oregon) within Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Last year he was a hitting assistant during the Diamondbacks training camp (during the days, as at night he was required to check in to serve his sentence) and carried on the role throughout the summer without a team to call home.
Grace was a 3-time All-Star and a key contributor to the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks team that dethroned the New York Yankees in one of the more memorable World Series of the past two decades. He transitioned to broadcasting, both for the Diamondbacks and nationally on Fox Regional coverage, before the two DUI arrests in a 15-month span. As our Blog reported last March (from the Chicago Tribune), he is very contrite and seems to have turned his life around.
The cop didn’t screw me. The judge didn’t screw me. The prosecutor didn’t screw me. It’s a lesson learned, and especially out here. These laws out here, they don’t mess around. I knew that. You can sit here and make all the excuses you want. But at the end of the day, it’s my fault. I did it, and I’m going to pay my debt to the state of Arizona and be done with it. And it will never happen again. I can promise you it will never happen again, because if it happens again I’m going to prison for like two years, and my children deserve better than that. My friends deserve better than that.
Hopefully he’s right, and hopefully he contributes to the development of the next generation of hitters, as he was one of the better technical hitters of his era.
– David Whitlock
Mark Grace adjusting to DUI sentence