Chicago Cubs: Life after Wrigley and the North Side
Grace’s tenure with the Chicago Cubs officially came to an end in December of 2000 when he signed a two-year, six million dollar contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He continued to wear #17 on the back of his jersey but, for the first time, not as a member of the Cubs.
The following season, Arizona won the 2001 World Series against the dynastic New York Yankees. Playing in the first World Series of his long, storied career, he had several key moments including a pivotal Game 4 home run at Yankee Stadium. He was also responsible for starting Arizona’s epic ninth-inning comeback in Game 7 when he hit a leadoff single against Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. He was lifted for a pinch runner but that became the tying run of the game.
Grace saw a fall in production the following seasons but was still having fun playing the game he loved so much. On Sept. 2, 2002, he made his first and only pitching appearance of his career. Doing his best impression of reliever, teammate and staredown extraordinaire Mike Fetters, Grace retired the first two batters of the inning before then rookie (and future Grandpa Cub) David Ross hit his first career home run.
After 16 years in the majors, Grace eventually retired following the 2003 season.