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Mark McGwire
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Mark McGwire

Mark McGwire hits a home run during his last Major League season in 2001

Mark David McGwire, (born October 1, 1963 in Pomona, California) was an American Major League Baseball player from 1986 through 2001.

In his prime, he was perhaps the Babe Ruth of the 1990s. Like Ruth, he was a big man, and a prolific home run hitter; he hit the ball out of the park once in every 9.42 at bats, beating out Ruth for the highest home run ratio in major-league history. Like Ruth, he had begun as an outstanding pitcher. And like Ruth, he was a superb low ball hitter who learned to golf the ball for titanic home runs, balls that sometimes cleared the fences with 100 feet to spare.

McGwire ended his career with 583 home runs, which was then 5th-most in history. He hit 50 or more home runs four seasons in a row (1996-1999) and was a league leader 4 times. He and Sammy Sosa shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 1998 "Sportsmen of the Year" award.

McGwire worked hard on his defense at first base, and resisted being seen as a one-dimensional player. McGwire also had a sense of baseball history that is rare among modern players. He graciously involved the family of Roger Maris when he broke Maris's single season home run record on September 8, 1998. He finished the season with 70 homers, since broken by Barry Bonds.

McGwire played for the Oakland A's from 1986 until 1997, and finished his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won the World Series just once, with the Oakland A's in 1989.

McGwire won a silver medal with the USA amateur baseball team in the 1984 Summer Olympics; that team was coached by Rod Dedeaux, who had also been his college coach at the University of Southern California.

Since he retired, McGwire has kept a low profile. His admission that he used the supplement androstenedione has led to speculation that he also took steroids. He married former pharmaceutical sales rep Stephanie Slemer in Las Vegas on April 20, 2002. They have a son, Max. McGwire has a son, Matthew, by his ex-wife, Kathy.

Mark McGwire's career totals

See also