Best Chicago Cubs’ first baseman I’ve seen play in my lifetime
Chicago Cubs: Mark Grace
So, listen to this. Mark Grace hit below .300 for the Cubs four times in his illustrious 13-year career with the team. And then he hit .273 or better those four times. Still, he never hit 100 RBI (98 was his highest).
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He never had that much power (16 was the highest for home runs), but he had ‘gap to gap’ power–meaning doubles. Grace wasn’t big on going the ‘distance’ for a three-bagger.
He lost to Chris Sabo (I know, right?) in the Rookie of the Year. Clearly, he was destined for it. In the 16 years he played, he provided a slash line of .303/.383/.442 with an OPS of .825. And that was three years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which he didn’t hit .300 at all (.298 was his high).
With the Cubs, his slash was .308/.386/.445, with an OPS of .832. 122 OPS+ was high for the time, likely with all those doubles. In all, he had 456 doubles, 148 home runs and 1004 RBI with the Cubs.
For me, Grace was the Cubs. Sosa turned his back on the Cubs. Grace? Sweet swinging’ Grace. That how I’ll remember him.