|Second baseman / Shortstop|
June 30, 1970 |
|April 28, 1995, for the Montreal Expos|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 6, 2010, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||640|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mark James Grudzielanek (//; born June 30, 1970) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and shortstop. Grudzielanek played for six different teams during his 15-season career. He batted and threw right-handed. He is currently the manager of the Kane County Cougars, a Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Grudzielanek attended J. M. Hanks High School in El Paso, Texas and was a letterman and an All-State selection in basketball and baseball. He was a regional Skee-Ball champion in 1987. His mother is of Galician descent. His father is of Polish descent.
Grudzielanek was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 17th round of the 1989 MLB Draft but did not sign. He was then drafted in the 11th round of the 1991 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos and signed on June 11, 1991.
In 1994, with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators he hit .322 in 122 games and was rewarded by being selected as a Double-A All-Star, Eastern League Most Valuable Player and Expos Minor league player of the year.
He made his Major League debut on April 28, 1995 with the Expos against the Chicago Cubs, striking out as a pinch hitter against Mike Walker. He made his first start (at second base) the following day but did not record his first major league hit (a double) until May 4 against New York Mets relief pitcher Mike Remlinger. His first home run came on May 16, 1995 against Kevin Jarvis of the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 78 games that season, hitting .245.
In 1996, Gruzielanek hit .306 in 153 games and was selected to appear in the 1996 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In the All-Star game, he ground out in his lone at-bat against Roberto Hernandez.
He hit .281 in 492 games for the Expos over four seasons.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Grudzielanek was traded by the Expos to the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with Hiram Bocachica and Carlos Perez) for Jonathan Tucker, Peter Bergeron, Wilton Guerrero and Ted Lilly on July 31, 1998. Primarily a shortstop through this point in his career, the Dodgers moved him to second base in 2000 to make room for Alex Cora to play shortstop.
He spent five seasons with the Dodgers, playing in 605 games and hitting .284 with 38 home runs.
St. Louis Cardinals
After leaving the Cubs as a free agent after the 2004 season, Grudzielanek signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on January 6, 2005. He appeared in 137 games with the Cardinals, hitting .294.
Kansas City Royals
Grudzielanek signed a contract on December 16, 2005, to be the second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. He won the Gold Glove Award in 2006 for second basemen in the American League. He played with the Royals for three seasons, appearing in 336 games, with a .300 batting average.
He became a free agent after the 2008 season but did not sign with a team until the Minnesota Twins offered him a minor league contract on July 19, 2009. After only 11 games (3 with the Gulf Coast Twins and 8 with the New Britain Rock Cats) he was released on August 10.
On January 12, 2010, he signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians with a spring training invite. He was added to the Major League roster on April 3. He appeared in 30 games for the Indians, hitting .273 but also spending several weeks on the disabled list. On June 8, Grudzielanek was designated for assignment by the Indians to make room on the roster for Anderson Hernandez, he was released shortly after.
Grudzielanek retired on February 23, 2011.
- All-Star (1996)
- Collected 201 hits in a season (1996)
- Led National League in doubles (54, 1997)
- Led NL in at-bats (649, 1997)
- Finished 6th in the NL in batting average (.326, 1999)
- Hit for the cycle on April 27, 2005 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals
- Won AL Gold Glove Award at second base (2006)
- Collected career hit number 2000 on July 12, 2008.
- Holds the MLB record for longest streak of home games played with a hit, 35, in 1999 while played for the Los Angeles Dodgers
- List of Major League Baseball players with 2000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders
- Hitting for the cycle
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)