October 10, 2013 |
ST. LOUIS - Mark McGwire is family here. No one saw that coming, not at the beginning. The St. Louis Cardinals rented him for the pennant stretch in 1997, and surely the California kid would serve out his two months, then go home in free agency. He stayed, for the rest of his career. He electrified the city, home run after home run after record-breaking home run. In 2001, when he could no longer play, he walked away from the Cardinals, and from the $30 million they had guaranteed him. In 2010, when he admitted he had used steroids, St. Louis gave him a big hug and welcomed him back to the Cardinals, this time as the hitting coach.
August 24, 1998 |
The Pittsburgh Pirates tried giving away golf umbrellas and beach towels, but nothing helped in selling out Three Rivers Stadium. Then Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals came to town. The Saturday and Sunday games were the first consecutive regular-season sellouts at Three Rivers Stadium. "The Mark McGwire home run craze is quite phenomenal," said Vic Gregovits, the Pirates' vice president of marketing and broadcasting. Crowds of 38,149 showed up for beach towels and 41,568 for umbrellas.
September 5, 1988
At 6-feet 2-inches and 190 pounds, Neil Allen of the New York Yankees is not small, but Mark McGwire of the Oakland A's is 6-5, 225. After Allen beaned McGwire Saturday, the Oakland first baseman charged the mound. Said Allen afterward: "I was just trying to figure out where I was going when his body got there." And what was he thinking? "No mas," Allen said.
January 12, 2010 |
A recluse no more, Mark McGwire finally talked about the past, admitting what virtually everyone in baseball suspected for years, that he used steroids during his 16-year career, including the memorable 1998 season in which he and Sammy Sosa revitalized the game with their Great Home Run Chase. What Congress couldn't coax out of McGwire under oath in 2005, an impending return to baseball as the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach -- and the questions that would no doubt dog him in his return to the public eye -- could.
November 7, 2012 |
When you think of Mark McGwire, you think of numbers, but not those numbers. You don't think of 583 career homers, or 70 homers in 1998, or one homer in every 10.61 at-bats. You think, instead, of 19.5. That is the percentage of baseball Hall of Fame votes he received last winter. He received 19.5% when 75% is required for entry. His name will appear for nine more years on the regular ballot, but it could be there 90 years, he still has zero chance of ever entering Cooperstown, a notion that is important now that he's entering Chavez Ravine.
November 4, 1987 |
Oakland Athletics first baseman Mark McGwire, whose 49 home runs set a major league record for a first-year player, was unanimously selected Rookie of the Year in the American League, the Baseball Writers Assn. of America announced Tuesday. McGwire, the choice of all 28 voters, is the second unanimous selection in the 40-year history of the award. Carlton Fisk of the Boston Red Sox was the first, in 1972.
September 28, 1998
PLATE APPEARANCES Sammy Sosa Sacrifice flys: 0.7% Hit by pitch: 0.1% Intentional walks: 1.9% Grounded into double plays: 2.6% Doubles: 2.8% Home Runs: 9.2% Walks: 10.2% Singles: 15.3% Fly Outs: 18.9% Ground Outs: 19.1% Strikeouts: 23.7% * Mark McGwire Sacrifice flys: 0.6% Hit by pitch: 0.9% Grounded into double plays: 1.2% Doubles: 3.1% Intentional walks: 4.1% Singles: 9.0% Ground Outs: 10.1% Home Runs: 10.3% Fly Outs: 19.5% Strikeouts: 22.8% Walks: 23.
September 10, 1998 |
Just beyond the cracked left-field wall where Sammy Sosa hit his earliest home runs, in a tattered batting cage behind fading stars that read "Alou," "Marichal" and "Mota," Roberto Corporan was chasing the dream that drives so many in this storied Dominican town. Sweating rivers in the blazing sun this week, Corporan and his scout were the lone figures in Alfredo Raynold Stadium, the muddy and rutted field of dreams where the Chicago Cub slugger--like so many others before him--first played baseball.
October 11, 1987 |
A magical, record-shattering season ended for Mark McGwire, not on the field but in a maternity ward. He already had a lock on the American League Rookie of the Year award with a league-high 49 homers, plus 118 runs batted in, 97 runs scored and .289 average. But he gave up a chance to go for his 50th homer in the final game to be with his wife, Kathy, as she gave birth to their first child, a 9-pound, 2-ounce boy.
August 30, 1987 |
It's two hours before game time and the Oakland Athletics clubhouse is almost empty by the time Mark McGwire leaves the trainer's room and begins to pull on his uniform. It's the fifth month of his magical rookie season and, for McGwire, it clearly has been a long one. He chased the 60-homer ghosts of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris for a few weeks. He broke the all-time rookie-season home-run records of Frank Robinson and Wally Berger. He made the all-star team. He created expectations.