Former MLB Star Mark Grace A ‘Model Inmate’ During DUI Sentence

Nathan Francis

Mark Grace is a “model inmate” during his four-month jail stay for a driving-under-the-influence conviction, officials at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department say.

The former MLB slugger turned coach has been helpful during his stay in the notorious Tent City jail, officials noted.

“It is my understanding Mark is a ‘model’ inmate and does a lot of volunteering with cleanup and other activities,” MCSO spokesman Joaquin Enriquez said Monday. “He is looked up to by other inmates at Tent City.”

Grace originally faced four aggravated DUI charges, which would have carried a minimum of a year in prison, but pleaded guilty in January to reduced charges.

Mark Grace was sent to jail in February and will serve a sentence lasting through the second week in June. He was sentenced to serve on a part-time basis, with time out during the day to serve as the minor-league hitting instructor for the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.

From 6 pm to 6am Mark Grace returns to the jail where his is a “model inmate.” He stays at Tent City, which was created in 1993 by controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is an outdoor encampment of tented housing units, resembling a military outpost, that is watched over by four guard towers.

Grace was pulled over in August in Scottsdale, the second time he was charged with DUI in a 15-month period. He plead guilty to a reduced charge to avoid spending a year in jail, and after the incident Grace was fired as the team broadcaster for the Diamondbacks.

But Grace was rehired as a hitting instructor and now has the full support of the Diamondbacks during his sentence.

“He is now beginning his new chapter as a uniformed coach on the field, and I am thrilled for him and us,” Derrick Hall, Diamondbacks president and CEO, said Monday. “He is full time and will be with us long after June 10 (when his sentence ends). When the Arizona Summer League begins, he will be our hitting coach for that team.”

Until then Mark Grace will have to be content service as a “model inmate.”