Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Mark Grace

Mark Grace / Chicago Cubs - Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
Mark Grace / Chicago Cubs - Jonathan Daniel /Allsport /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

When you think of the greatest hitters of the 1990s, Mark Grace might not come to mind. But make no mistake, the former Chicago Cubs star warrants noting.

Thinking about that decade in baseball history, you probably immediately think of the long ball heroes who were swatting dingers to the moon.  Players like Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.  It was the era of the home run that is referred to as, what we notoriously dubbed, “The Steroid Era.”

In the midst of this scandalous era, one beloved player opted for dugout cigarettes over performance-enhancing drugs and doubles over home runs.

Out of all the most popular, muscle-riddled superstars, none of them are known for having the most hits or doubles out of any player through the decade of the 1990s.  Those statistics belong to Mark Grace.

Grace’s simplistic approach at the plate of “just reacting to the ball… seeing it… hitting it,” produced 1,754 base hits and 364 doubles from 1990 to 1999 with one of the sweetest swings you will ever see.  When other players of the era were fueled by “juice,” Gracie was fueled only by booze, nicotine, his libido and the pure joy and love of the game.