Mark Grace spent the past 13 years holding down first base for the Chicago Cubs... and collected more hits and more doubles during the 1990s than any other major league batter... and every player who led a decade in hits in the past century has been enshrined into the Hall of Fame, except Pete Rose who is ineligible. Starting with 1900-09, when Honus Wagner lined 1,847 hits..... 1910-19, Ty Cobb 1,949... 1920-29 Rogers Hornsby 2.085... 1930-39, Paul Waner 1,959... 1940-49, Lou Boudreau 1,578... 1950-59, Richie Ashburn 1,875... 1960-69, Roberto Clemente 1,877... 1970-79 Pete Rose 2,045... 1980-89, Robin Yount 1,731... 1990-99, Mark Grace 1,754.
Mark Grace feels strongly about the chances for the Arizona Diamondbacks to get to the World Series. He quoted as saying, "Am I the difference maker? I don't know... but if this team plays to its potential, it's the best." He signed a two-year contract for $3 million per/year that includes an option for $3 million in 2003. Grace's relentless hitting leaves him with 2,201 career hits, fifth on the all-time Cubs' list... trailing only Cap Anson, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg. Grace had the highest batting average on the Cubs in 9 of his 13 seasons with them. His 364 doubles were the highest total of any other major leaguer during the '90s. He appeared in three All-Star games, '93, '95, and '97... and won more Gold Gloves Awards (four) than any other first baseman in the '90s. And we might add... Grace was as good a fielding first baseman as any we've ever seen... rating right up-there with Keith Hernandez. Grace also set a new major league mark in 2000 by walking 95 times and striking out only 28 times - the highest walks-to-Ks difference in major league history.