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Mark Grace named D-backs minor league hitting coach

Former Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman and television broadcaster Mark Grace will spend the 2014 season as part of the organization’s minor league coaching staff.

According to an announcement by the Diamondbacks released Friday, Grace will serve as the hitting coach of the Single-A Hillsboro Hops, who were formerly known as the Yakima Bears.

The Diamondbacks’ commitment to a relationship with Grace, who was indicted with DUI charges both 2011 and 2012, while serving as the team’s color broadcaster on television, is noteworthy. Grace roamed the minor league ranks for the Diamondbacks in 2013, following a stint as an infield and hitting instructor during spring training.

Team president and CEO Derrick Hall said at the time of that announcement that he valued Grace’s ability to teach.

“Mark’s going to have a great influence, of course he had a special career but in addition to that he can now talk to them and teach them the rights and wrongs off the field,” Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said. “He’s a perfect example and he’s told us he’s willing to do so.”

A mascot mimicking Grace remains a key fixture in the Diamondbacks’ Legends Race, despite the previous struggles.