Mark Grace: New Hitting Coach For Diamondbacks Affiliate

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The Arizona Diamondbacks are giving the former Cubs star a chance to get into coaching.

You're all familiar with Mark Grace's fall from.. well, grace, with his DUI conviction and time served in an Arizona prison.

During his sentence, Grace was permitted work release, and the team that had fired him as a broadcaster, the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowed him to come to their Rookie League team as part of their player development staff.

The D'backs apparently liked what Grace did with their young players, because they have now given him a position with the Hillsboro Hops:

The Hillsboro Hops will be managed in 2014 by former major league catcher J.R. House, while the second-year franchise's coaching staff will include a pair of major league all-stars: Mark Grace, who had more hits during the 1990s than any other major leaguer, joins the staff as hitting instructor; and Doug Drabek, the 1990 N.L. Cy Young Award winner, returns to Hillsboro for his second year as Hops pitching coach. Hillsboro native and former major leaguer Ben Petrick will be with the Hops for his second year as consultant.

The Hops play in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area (they were formerly the Yakima Bears) and became quite popular in their first season in Portland, drawing 135,167 fans. That's for 38 home dates, an average of 3,557 per date, quite good for a Northwest League team.

I wish Grace all the best in his new position. He's clearly working hard to try to make it back from his conviction and prison time and I hope he continues to do so. I always thought he might make a good hitting coach after his playing days; this is probably a very good career track for him.

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