Oakland A's (1986-1997), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-2001)
1988 ALCS, 1988 World Series, 1989 ALCS, 1989 World Series, 1990
ALCS, 1990 World Series, 1992 ALCS, 1999 NLDS, 2000 NLDS, 2000
Yes, 1989 Oakland A's
2001 NLDS Game Five
Game Five against the
Diamondbacks was the last game of McGwire's career. Curt Schilling
defeated the Cardinals, 2-1.
All-Star (11): 1987-1992, 1995-1999; Rookie of the Year 1987;
Gold Glove 1990
McGwire played 1,763 games at first base. He was DH 37 times,
played 3B (24 games) and some outfield (four games in 1987-1988).
League Debut: August 22, 1986
Home Run Race of 1998
The chase was hardly a chase at all as late as May. On May 24,
1998, Mark McGwire had 24 home runs, while Sammy Sosa was at nine.
But soon, Sammy made his move and the race was on. From May 25-June
23, Sosa belted 21 home runs in 30 days. He set a record with
20 home runs in June, which was also the most homers ever hit
in any month. It became clear that both McGwire and Sosa were
drawing a bead on roger Maris's single-season home run record.
The question was: who would get there first?
On August 19, Sosa
hit his 48th home run and passed McGwire for the first time. But
later in that game, McGwire answered with a pair of homers and
reclaimed the lead. "Big Mac" would stay relinquish
the lead just once more.
Over Labor Day weekend
the Cardinals and Cubs played each other in St. Louis and the
media circus surrounding the home run chase collided in one location.
The two sluggers embraced the publicity, helping put baseball
back on the front pages and in the news. On September 8, McGwire
finally passed Maris, lining a shot over the left field wall at
Busch Stadium. Sosa watched from right field and applauded. McGwire
made an emotional trip around the bases, pointing to the sky as
he crossed home plate to honor Maris, whose sons were in attendance.
Soon, Sosa arrived and hugged McGwire, who lifted Sammy off his
feet. Baseball had a golden moment. But three weeks still remained
in the season and the chase was still far from over.
Five days later, Sosa
hit two home runs in Wrigley Field to tie McGwire at 62. Adding
to the tension of the McGwire/Sosa race was the fact that the
Cubs were in a fight for a playoff spot. On September 25 in Houston,
Sosa hit #66, creeping ahead of McGwire for the final time. McGwire
responded by hitting a homer of his own a few innings later in
St. Louis to bring the chase to a tie once more. Sosa failed to
any more homers, while McGwire belted four in his final two games
to finish with an astonishing 70 for the new single-season record.
Three years later,
Barry Bonds broke McGwire's record, which many thought would last
longer than Maris's had. Bonds blasted 73 homers to establish
the new standard. One of the players given the best chance to
break Bonds record is Sosa, who hit 63 in 1999, 50 in 2000, and
64 in 2001.
Set single-season home run record with 70 in 1998. Became first
man to hit 50 homers in three straight seasons (1997-1999). Both
of those records were later matched or topped by Sammy Sosa and/or
Barry Bonds... McGwire hit three homers in a game five times.
He did it in 1987, 1995, twice in 1998, and once in 2000.
#25 (1986-2001), both with the A's and Cardinals.
Set an NL record with 32 homers on the road. He hit three homers
in one game twice. Hit 21 homers in his first 41 games, 40 in
90 games, 50 in 125 games, and shattered the ML record with 70
for the season. In the process he set a Cardinal record with 145
RBI and a NL record for 162 walks. McGwire hit 33 solo homers,
28 two-run homers, seven three-run homers and two grand slams.
Hit homers against 65 different pitchers. He led baseball in slugging,
OBP, and total average. For some reason sportswriters selected
Sammy Sosa as MVP.
Hit his 500th career homer on August 5, 1999, off Andy Ashby of
The immortal Bruce Bochte, who hit .256 with 20 extra-base hits
in 125 games as the A's first sacker in 1986.
35-year old free agent first baseman Tino Martinez, in 2002.
Strength as a Player
Weakness as a Player