It’s human nature to try and be your best. It is also part of our psyche to want to do your best especially when facing a team who gave up on you. So today’s game was the perfect forum for Mark Grace to overcome his struggles in the Legends race and cruise to victory.
After all, wasn’t it the Chicago Cubs who in 2001 suggested that Grace had lost a step and was not figuring into their long term plans for the team? This decision forced him to look outside the friendly confines of Wrigley Field and shop his skills on the free agent market.
In a well-known story Grace had pizza with then Diamondbacks General Partner Jerry Colangelo and came to the Arizona desert to finish his career. Grace was the missing piece to the 2001 World Series Championship team and carved out a place for himself in Diamondbacks history.
So in a sense, had it not been for the Cubs giving up on him, Grace would never have become one of the Diamondbacks Legends. Oh the irony of it all. What better way to end an 0-3 win-less streak than with his former team watching from the opposing dugout.
As the race began it looked as though Grace had finally exorcised his demons. No more towels, no more silly string just a legend with his giant head. He stayed with the other Legends for most of the race but in the end he just did not have the speed to catch Matt Williams.
Maybe the Cubs were right. Maybe Mark Grace has lost a step. Maybe he is destined to continually fail race after race. But maybe the Cubs fans are right. Maybe you do need to have eternal optimism. Maybe the next race will be the one Grace will win. Oh the life of a former Chicago Cub filled with eternal maybes and what-ifs. That is what makes Grace the most lovable loser among the Legends.