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Mark Grant Pitched His Final Major League Game This Date 20 Years Ago

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

A player's final game is a bittersweet thing to celebrate the anniversary of. One one hand, it's the end of something somebody aspired their whole life toward. On the other hand, it's the beginning of a whole new life. Mark Grant made the most of his second act, getting into broadcasting and becoming one of the most beloved characters in Padres history. As the wise Rick Sutcliffe once said, "Anybody on Earth that doesn't like Mark Grant... they got... they got problems, man."

After being traded by the Padres to Atlanta mid-1990, Grant also pitched for Seattle and Houston. By the time July 26, 1993 rolled around, Grant was a member of the expansion Colorado Rockies. He was amidst his worst season in the big leagues when manager Don Baylor brought him in with two outs in the top of the seventh inning of a game the Rockies were losing 8-2 to the Braves. Mudcat promptly struck out Atlanta catcher Damon Berryhill to end the inning; so far, so good.

Grant came back out for the eighth inning and retired the first two batters; Mark Lemke lined out to right and Greg Maddux struck out looking. Then up stepped Deion Sanders, who had already singled and hit an inside-the-park home run. Prime Time singled again; so far, still not so bad. Breakout shortstop Jeff Blauser then took Grant deep to left for his tenth of 15 homers that season. Four pitches later Ron Gant hit a rope over the wall for his twenty-third out of 36 he hit in 1993 to make the score 11-2. Mud stuck around and got recently-acquired Brave Fred McGriff to ground to short for the third out. Grant came out for pinch hitter Daryl Boston and that was all she wrote; he was released the next day.

About a month later, Grant signed with the Angels but only pitched one game for their AAA team before taking a year off. He came back in 1995 and pitched well in 11 starts for the AAA Iowa Cubs but didn't get the call back up to the bigs. After that, he shoved his spikes in the closet for good and the rest is history.