Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, sometimes touching, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's recipient: Mark Grace
Mark Grace was the regular first baseman for the Cubs for more than a decade. He was an All Star, Gold Glove winner, and had the most hits of the 1990s. He wasn't a prototypical first baseman, with low home run numbers. He made up for it by being a constant doubles and triples hitter.
You were one of the players that got me into baseball. As I became a Cubs fan in 1998, I got to enjoy three seasons of you in Chicago. At first, I couldn't understand why someone with such drastically few home runs was protecting Sammy Sosa. But over time, I came to understand that your consistently high batting average and extra base power made you a major threat in the middle of the lineup.
I appreciated your throwback old school approach to the game. No batting gloves, hard nosed plays, a couple of Gold Gloves, few strikeouts, and constant contact. It was fun to watch as my love for baseball began.
My favorite highlight was you catching the final out of the 1998 tiebreaker. The bend over/ "whew, we made it" was a bit different than most big win celebrations, but was just so unique in my mind. I'll never forget it.
I really enjoyed watching you on Marquee this year. I'm a sucker for old school “this is how it was in baseball” stories. I enjoyed your wit and all the experiences that you shared. I'm looking forward to many more years of you on Cubs TV.