I hold a special place in my memory of living in Chicago for five years and watching Cubs baseball on a daily basis. And in that place is a spot reserved for Mark Grace.
To put it on a level that everyone can understand, I will make this announcement – ‘I have never seen a player enjoy playing the game as much as I have seen Mark Grace enjoy it!!!’ It’s just that simple. Now I know that I have not seen every baseball game in the history of the sport. And there may have been a player or there currently is a player that you’re a fan of that you may put in this class. I am fine with that. But for me, I cannot recall watching anyone enjoy the game while on the field in the way that I saw ‘Gracey’ do it.
Grace’s constant smile and fun-side were always on display when suited up for the home team. While always a professional on the field, Grace did not let his hard working attitude get in the way of knowing that the game was meant to be enjoyed, both by fans and the guys lucky enough to play it for a living.
So I have decided to work on my Mark Grace rookie collection. I want to round out the set and will go after the few missing pieces that have alluded me so far. This should be rather easy, and meaningful at the same time, since Grace’s rookie season of 1988 did not include the overwhelming number of inserts and parallel cards found in today’s rookie issues.
Here is where I stand today and I will share with you what I acquire as this small collection takes shape. Enjoy!!!