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Today in 1989 Cubs history: Mark Grace walks it off

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Grace wasn’t a home-run hitter, but seemed to have a knack for walkoffs.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cubs had won eight of 10 going into the final game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Mets, one of four teams (the Expos and Cardinals the others) fighting for the N.L. East title in the summer of 1989.

The Cubs trailed the Expos by 2½ games going into this contest, and the Mets and Cardinals were tied for third, six games back, and had taken the first two of the series, and ran out to a 3-0 lead over the first four innings of this game, thanks in part to a home run by Shawon Dunston.

Mike Bielecki, though, couldn’t hold the lead. He allowed two runs in the fifth, but a sacrifice fly by Jerome Walton gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Again, though, the Mets scored a pair off Bielecki (the runs charged to him after Mitch Williams entered the game and allowed a hit) in the seventh and the game was tied.

Mets reliever Rick Aguilera (who would pitch for the Cubs a decade later) and Cubs righthander Les Lancaster then shut things down. No one reached base in the seventh, eighth or top of the ninth. Jerome Walton beat out an infield hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

The Mets brought in lefty Randy Myers — also later a Cubs reliever — to face the lefthanded-hitting Mark Grace. Myers threw ball one and then Grace won the ballgame:

Grace hit four walkoff homers in his career, all for the Cubs. This one won the game 6-4 and swept the series for the Cubs. The only walkoff for Grace that might have bigger than this one was one he hit against the Brewers in September 1998.


This article is part of a series commemorating important events in the 1989 Cubs N.L. East championship season, 30 years ago.