Where Are They Now?: Mark Grant

Image credit: Mark Grant with son, Aidan

Mark Grant is known to Padres fans for speaking his mind. His 23rd season as TV analyst just
completed, Grant says he wants plays to go the Padres’ way on air. Yet he is refreshingly blunt about a club that has suffered through eight straight losing seasons. In one 2018 game, San Diego’s right fielder, center fielder and second baseman all stood and watched as a high pop-up dropped for a base hit.

“C’mon guys, it’s all ball bearings these days!” Grant bellowed, referencing the 1985 movie “Fletch” starring Chevy Chase.

“I think part of being a color analyst is bringing a little color to the broadcast or telecast,” Grant said. “There are people out there who don’t like my style. That’s fine. That’s their point of view, and I’m cool with that.”

That style, often humorous, includes Padres home run calls punctuated with “put another notch in his shillelagh,” or walking stick. When San Diego does well, Grant’s favorite phrase is “that’s some kinda nice.”

That also happens to be his Web site: somekindanice.com.

Mark Grant Baseball
A 19-year-old Mark Grant entered 1983 regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

Back when Grant was a high school righthander in Joliet, Ill., the Major League Scouting Bureau regarded him as the top prospect available in the 1981 draft—but he fell to the Giants at No. 10 overall. He made the majors with San Francisco in 1984 and spent eight seasons in the majors, working mostly in relief and recording a 4.31 ERA.

Grant reached the majors at age 20 after blowing through the minors. He went 16-5 in 1982 for low Class A Clinton and led the minors with 243 strikeouts in 199 innings.

“I thought with my ascension to the big leagues so quickly at a young age and with the stuff I had, I would achieve a little bit more than I actually did,” Grant said with the same straight-ahead style he uses in the broadcast booth.

The highlight of his eight seasons with six clubs?

“I had a one-two-three inning back in 1989 that I recall,” Grant said with a hearty laugh. “I can’t remember if it was July or August.”

Grant graciously accepted a move to the bullpen early in his career, even though he wanted to remain a starter. He also helped Padres teammate Tony Gwynn secure the National League batting title in 1989 by striking out the Giants’ Will Clark on the next-to-last day of the season.

These days, Grant and his wife of 30 years, Mary, spend much of their time as philanthropists in the San Diego area. Among the myriad causes they support are the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center for adults with developmental disabilities, Rady Children’s Hospital and the San Diego chapters of the
Down Syndrome Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The couple has three grown children, including 21-year-old Aidan, who is autistic and has Down syndrome.

“He’s a sweet kid,” Grant said. “He has his moments, like all of us do. But he is awesome and healthy. That’s the main thing. He’s living a good life and he’s a joy to have.”

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