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McGwire proud of his career

January 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

Mark McGwire had little to say about being left out of Cooperstown in his first public comments since the Hall of Fame announcement.

The former slugger talked briefly Friday to the Cal State Fullerton newspaper, the Daily Titan, about being denied baseball's highest honor in his first time on the ballot. Amid questions about his role in baseball's Steroids Era, McGwire was picked by 23.5% of voters in totals released Tuesday -- far short of the 75% needed for induction.

"I had an absolutely wonderful career that I am very proud of," McGwire said Friday as he signed autographs at a charity event in Tustin benefiting the Orange County Abuse Prevention Center. "I'm not in control of what happens -- I was in control of hitting the ball."

McGwire, whose 583 home runs rank seventh on the career list, appeared on 128 of a record 545 ballots in voting released by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America. Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres and Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles were voted in and will be inducted in July.

McGwire has been reclusive since he appeared in front of Congress two years ago and chose not to address steroid use in baseball.

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