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posted: 8/28/2012 2:04 AM

Former Cub Grace now facing a big crossroad

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    Associated Press@Veteran Los Angeles Dodgers broa


So, former Cub first baseman and current Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Mark Grace has taken a leave of absence after being charged with a DUI in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also was driving on a suspended license.

I know Mark will seek help and try to stop, but it won't happen unless he really wants to himself. I have been sober for more than six years, and I was probably the last guy who wanted to stop drinking, so I know what I am talking about here. Especially during the 1990s, the booze was really flowing for me.

Grace played for a franchise that pushed the culture with Harry Caray, the great announcer and pitch man, pushing two things: the Cubs and fun at the ballpark. Mark Grace was the fun-loving bachelor, the every man who guys wanted to hang with, and girls wanted to be with.

He loved his day job -- hitting a couple of doubles and picking a few balls out of the dirt. After the game, he lived up to the image of the party guy.

Here's hoping Mark can get himself together, and get back on the air soon.

What's up with Hawk?

Hawk Harrelson, the White Sox announcer and resident Jerry Reinsdorf henchman, went off on the umpires again.

You have to love his passion for the White Sox. As I'm writing this column, however, there has been no comment from the chairman or Hawk.

But when did Hawk decide to stop announcing baseball and become a sports talk show host?

Earlier in the season, Hawk was announcing a White Sox-Baltimore game and mentioned to Steve Stone that the Orioles weren't being supported by their fans at home. Stone said Baltimore had suffered a decade of futility, and Hawk responded that was true, but there had to be other issues.

I chuckled. Here's a guy announcing for one of the biggest gate disappointments in baseball. I would love to hear Hawk's take on White Sox attendance.

By the way, the Orioles are averaging 25,770 at home while the Sox, with the No. 3 market in baseball, are averaging 24,546. I know neither team is happy with those numbers.

Scully gets it done

Vin Scully just signed on for another year as the announcer for L.A. Dodgers baseball. It will be his 64th year.

If you have the MLB package, you can listen to any of the top announcers in baseball, but nobody tops the venerable Scully. Working solo, he handles two jobs -- play-by-play and color analyst for the TV and the radio broadcast.

The guy is 84 years old and sounds 20 years younger. His energy level is amazing, his recall is second to none, and he never has a lull in the game. If I had to name the top five of all time it would go like this:

1. Vin Scully (Dodgers)

2. Mel Allen (Yankees)

3. Curt Gowdy (Red Sox)

4. Ernie Harwell (Tigers)

5. Jack Brickhouse (Cubs).

To me, Jack never seemed to make a mistake and turned announcing bad baseball games into an art. Of the five broadcasters I named, four are gone but Scully is very much alive.

Check it out

I'll be doing my Fox sports radio broadcast this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. Check for more details.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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