Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Mark McGwire Biography - Early Life, Chronology, Potent College Player, The Stuff Of Legend, Breaks Roger Maris's Record - SELECTED WRITINGS BY MCGWIRE:

Mark McGwire - Breaks Roger Maris's Record

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In 1998 McGwire made it all happen. The second half of the season amounted to a daily countdown of home runs hit by McGwire and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, both of whom were chasing Roger Maris' hallowed record of 61. They traded off the lead through the last months of the season. McGwire won the race on September 7, 1998, when he hit his 61st round tripper. A day later, ironically at Wrigley Field, Sammy Sosa's home field, McGwire became the first player in major league history to hit 62 homers in one season. Unlike Maris, there would be no asterisk next to McGwire's record. He needed nearly 100 fewer at-bats to hit his 62 than Ruth did to hit 60. Maris, by contrast, needed 50 atbats more. McGwire ended 1998 with a total of 70, a new record. He broke another of Ruth's records at the same time, as the first player to hit 50 home runs or more three seasons in a row.

Awards and Accomplishments

1984 Named All-American by the American Association of College Baseball Coaches
1984 Sporting News College Player of the Year
1987 American League Rookie of the Year
1987 Sporting News Rookie of the Year
1987-92, 1995-97 American League All-Star team
1990 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, first base
1992 UPI Comeback Player of the Year
1992, 1996, 1998 Sporting News Silver Slugger team, first baseman
1998 Associated Press Player of the Year
1998 Baseball America's Major League Player of the Year
1998-2000 National League All-Star team

Where Is He Now?

Mark McGwire lives in Orange County, California, close to his son, his ex-wife, and other family. He devotes his time to the Mark McGwire Foundation for Children, an organization dedicated to helping abused children. McGwire founded the foundation and has funded it with millions of dollars of his own money. In 2002 he began working with the National Kidney Foundation as well. Although he is still relatively young by baseball standards, he has said there is no chance he will ever come out of retirement and play the game again.

McGwire's last two years in baseball saw his home run numbers decline dramatically. Hobbled by a knee injury, he hit only 32 homers in 2000 and 29 in 2001. Such numbers only disappointed and frustrated McGwire. In November 2001, he announced his retirement from baseball. Not even an offer of $30 million to extend his contract with the Cardinals could make him change his mind. "After considerable discussion with those closest to me, I have decided not to sign the extension, as I am unable to perform at a level equal to the salary the organization would be paying me," he told the Houston Chronicle.

Mark McGwire is a virtual shoe-in for Baseball's Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2007. His 583 homers were fifth on the all-time list when he left baseball. McGwire also boasted a career 1414 runs batted in and 1167 runs scored. More than merely a sports star, Mark McGwire proved himself an individual of the highest integrity as well, best exemplified by his outstanding efforts on behalf of abused children, work that led the Sporting News to name him their Sportsman of the Year in 1997. Hopefully such achievements will live in memory as long as McGwire's slugging pyrotechnics.

Mark McGwire - Awards And Accomplishments [next] [back] Mark McGwire - The Stuff Of Legend

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almost 9 years ago

Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run at Busch Stadium in St. Louis not at Wrigley Field