Monday, November 4, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #73 MARK GRACE


A FAVORITE SON OF WRIGLEYVILE.




A WINNER OF FOUR GOLD GLOVES.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • With boyish charm and a wicked sense of humor, Mark Grace was the mayor of Wrigley Field during his 13 years with the Cubs. He wasn't all hijinks and colorful quotes, however. He led baseball with 1,754 hits during the 1990s. While lacking the power normally associated with the first-base position, Grace was a steady contact hitter who walked 433 more times than he struck out during his 16-year career.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • After losing the opening game of the '89 NLCS to the Giants, the Cubs bounced back in Game 2 on Oct. 5 at Wrigley, thanks to Grace. He doubled in one run off Rick Reuschel in the six-run first and then iced the game with a three-run double in the sixth off Craig Lefferts in the 9-5 victory. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Grace led the NL in doubles with 51 in '95 while driving in a career-high 92. He hit .326 with 16 homers, was named to his second NL All-Star team and won his third Gold Glove.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Grace and Pete Rose are the only players to lead a decade in hits and not be elected to the Hall.
  2. Grace also led baseball in doubles during the '90s with 364.
  3. In the five-game NLCS loss in '89, he batted .647 and drove in eight of the 16 Cubs runs.
  4. Playing for the Diamondbacks in the '01 World Series, Grace singled off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to begin the rally in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 that resulted in the improbable 3-2 victory.
  5. Hit .515 in LCS play, the highest for a player participating in at least 10 games.

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