Famous Baseball Players
Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963 in Pomona, California) is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1986 through 2001.
McGwire was a prolific power hitter during the 1990s. For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the highest home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.76). In 1998, McGwire broke Roger Maris's single season home run record of 61 by hitting 70 (Barry Bonds has since hit 73). McGwire was known for the distance of his home runs, hitting several over 500 feet. McGwire's nicknames included "Big Mac", "Big Red" and "Colossus."
McGwire began his career with the Oakland A's and played there until 1997, prior to joining the St. Louis Cardinals. He won the World Series with the Oakland A's in 1989. Perhaps Mark McGwire's most famous home run with the A's was in Game 3 of the 1988 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. McGwire's game winning solo homer off Jay Howell in the bottom of the 9th inning was the only game that the A's won in the 1988 World Series.
In his first full Major League Baseball season in 1987, he hit 49 home runs, a record for most home runs by a rookie; he was named the American League Rookie of the Year. McGwire hit 32, 33 and 39 homers the next three seasons, but his average, .289 as a rookie, plummeted to .260, .231 and .235. Then in 1991, he bottomed out with a .201 average and 22 homers. Manager Tony LaRussa sat him out the last game of the season so his average could not dip below .200.
With the help of a sports vision specialist he regained his mental edge, and with the aid of a weightlifting program he became even stronger. He rebounded to hit 42 homers and bat .268 in 1992.
Injuries limited him to a total of 74 games in 1993 and 1994, and to 104 games in 1995 (but he still slugged 39 homers in 317 at-bats). The next season he belted a Major-League leading 52 homers in 423 at-bats.
McGwire worked hard on his defense at first base, and resisted being seen as a one-dimensional player. He was regarded as a good fielder in his early years, even winning a Gold Glove in 1990. In his later years, his increasing bulk had reduced his speed, making playing the position more difficult.
In 1999, the The Sporting News' released a list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. The list had been compiled during the 1998 season, and included statistics through the 1997 season. McGwire was ranked at Number 91. That year, he was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their list, and McGwire had been moved up to Number 84.