Whether during his days as a player, coach or television analyst, Mark Grace is one of the most popular personalities in Arizona Diamondbacks history. Now, fans will get to enjoy him even more as he will be joining FOX Sports Arizona as the network’s new “D-backs Live” pre and post game show analyst, FOX Sports Arizona’s Senior Vice President & General Manager Brian Hogan announced today.
The D-backs first baseman from 2001-03 was a key part of the team’s 2001 World Series title and is set to bring his knowledge, passion and joy for the game to pre and post-game shows from Chase Field. Grace will team with hosts Todd Walsh and Jody Jackson, analyst Brandon Webb and game announcers Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly to further boost FOX Sports Arizona’s unmatched coverage and access to the D-backs throughout the season.
In addition to the success he enjoyed with the hometown D-backs, he was also a four-time Gold Glove winner, three-time All-Star and Major League Baseball’s hit leader in the 1990s while playing for the Chicago Cubs.
This marks a return to the television side of baseball for Grace. After he retired from a 16-year MLB playing career in 2003, he was hired by the D-backs to be their television analyst from 2004-12, working alongside play-by-play announcers Thom Brennaman and Daron Sutton. From 2007-11 he was also employed by FOX Sports, serving as one of its baseball analysts.
For the past three seasons, Grace was a coach in the D-backs organization. In 2014, he was a hitting coach with the Class-A Hillsboro Hops and in 2015 and 2016 he was the D-backs assistant hitting coach.
“We are excited to be able to welcome Mark Grace to the FOX Sports Arizona family,” said Hogan. “Baseball fans love him and we know he will bring a new approach to our coverage as he is able to equally educate and entertain our loyal D-backs viewing audience.”
Grace will make his “D-backs Live” debut on Friday, March 31, when the D-backs play their final Spring Training game. They host the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians at Chase Field and it will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona Plus. The pre-game show begins at 6 p.m. that night with the post-game airing immediately after the game.
D-backs 2017 Opening Day is on Sunday, April 2, and FOX Sports Arizona’s special one-hour pre-game show begins at noon before the D-backs host the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m.
Grace was a career .303 hitter who played for 13 seasons with the Cubs and three with the D-backs. He racked up 2,245 career hits with 511 doubles (54th most all-time) and his 364 doubles in the 1990s were the most of any player during that decade.