Dunston, Grace appreciate entering Cubs Hall of Fame together
Shawon Dunston and Mark Grace were inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame Sunday.
Longtime fans can appreciate not only their contributions to the franchise, but also their affection for each other.
"It means everything to me, because this is my buddy Mark Grace," Dunston said before the game. "I tell everybody, I look good, my house is paid off because of Grace."
Dunston was joking about his powerful arm at shortstop, which wasn't always perfectly accurate. Grace, a four-time Gold Glove winner, saved an immeasurable number of potential errors by scooping throws out of the dirt.
"As far as I'm concerned, to say it's an honor doesn't do it justice," Grace said of making the Cubs' Hall. "I guess the biggest feather in my cap was most hits in the '90s. Today, that's no longer the case. Today is the best thing that's ever happened to me in my professional career."
Dunston was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1982 and made his Cubs debut in '85. Grace was a 24th-round pick who earned a promotion in '88. Together, they helped the Cubs win the NL East in 1989. Defense wasn't the only reason Dunston was happy to see Grace in the majors.
"He was really happy I got called up because our manager was Don Zimmer," Grace said. "Zimmer used to be tough on Shawon, until I got called up. Then he turned his ire on me and Shawon's like, 'Yeah, I'm glad Zimmer's all over you and not me.'"
Added Dunston, "That's a true story, very true. I couldn't do nothing right. Then Grace came and he couldn't do nothing right."
Most of the Cubs living legends were on hand for the ceremony, including Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Randy Hundley, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith and Andre Dawson.
After a shaky outing earlier this week, Kyle Hendricks was back on his game, allowing 2 earned runs in 5⅔ innings. According to Statcast, he went to the changeup more than usual Sunday, throwing it 52% of the time.
"It kind of started with the fastball command, way better," Hendricks said. "I think the wind probably helped my changeup. It was moving a lot. We saw that, saw the bat swings and stuck with it. They got to a couple of them late, but still soft contact, what I'm looking for."
Around the horn:
Manager David Ross said Jeimer Candelario left Sunday's game because his back tightened up. Mike Tauchman came on in the fifth inning to play center field, while Cody Bellinger moved to first base. ...
Cubs top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong went 4-for-5 for the Iowa Cubs on Sunday and hit his second grand slam in a week. He has 4 grand slams this season. ... Iowa first baseman Jared Young has 6 home runs in his last six games. ...
This was a Cubs' costumed road trip, with the rookies dressed as Mario Kart characters. Javier Assad was Mario, there were a couple of dinosaurs, couple of toads, while pitcher Hayden Wesneski was a cloud.