Happy 55th birthday to a Padres fan favorite, Mark Grant.
“Mud” has been in the Padres broadcast booth since 1997, when it was Channel 4 San Diego. Some forget that before Grant was filling our homes with his color commentary every night for Padres games, he actually suited up for the Friars for a time.
He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants 10th overall in 1981 out of Joliet Catholic Academy (high school). He pitched his first three years in the major leagues for the Giants. He came out as a starter, starting 10 games in his rookie year of 1984.
In July of 1987, he was traded to the San Diego Padres. He made 17 starts that year for San Diego, posting a 4.66 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings.
He then pitched for the Friars for two more full seasons and into the 1990 season. His best year as a Friar was 1989. He went 8-2 in 50 appearances out of the bullpen, his first full year not in the starting rotation. He earned two saves in the process. He posted a career-best ERA+ of 106 (meaning he was 6% better than the average pitcher). He ended up pitching in 126 total games for San Diego in parts of four seasons.
Around the 1990 deadline, San Diego dealt him to the Atlanta Braves. He finished his career pitching for the Mariners, Astros, and Rockies as well. In his eight year career, he played the most with San Diego. He appeared in 233 total games with a lifetime ERA of 4.31.
Now, Padre fans enjoy him in the broadcast booth. He and Don Orsillo are part of one of the best broadcast teams in baseball (according to a recent article from Awful Announcing, the tandem came in at #4). That is saying something since the Padres come from a smaller market with a historically bad team. That speaks to the quality Grant and Orsillo deliver every night.
I grew up with Grant filling me in on my favorite team in the world. I have always enjoyed his energy, spirit, and knowledge. Having listened and watched many different broadcast teams and personalities, Mark Grant is truly unique and one of the best. Padres fans have not had much to cheer for lately (except for the growing talent in the minors), but they should appreciate the high-quality broadcast team that is spearheaded by the veteran Mark Grant. Happy Birthday, Mud.