McGwire, Mark David

▪ 1999

      On Sept. 8, 1998, Mark McGwire hit his shortest home run of the year but the biggest one of his career. With a 104-m (341-ft) line drive, the first baseman for the major league baseball St. Louis Cardinals shattered Roger Maris's 37-year-old single-season home-run record (61) and capped one of baseball's most exciting seasons. Millions witnessed not only history but also the revival of a sport that had been tarnished by labour disputes and player scandals. With his strength and unassuming manner, McGwire gave fans reason to cheer. Backed by standing ovations and light shows of camera flashes, he finished the year with 70 home runs and a place in the record books.

      Mark David McGwire was born in Pomona, Calif., on Oct. 1, 1963. As a senior in high school, he attracted more attention with his arm than with his swing, and the Montreal Expos drafted him as a pitcher in 1981. He instead decided to attend the University of Southern California, where he moved from the pitcher's mound to first base. Selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 1984 draft, McGwire moved up to the major leagues in 1987 and quickly displayed the strength that would become his trademark. His 49 home runs set a rookie record and helped earn him American League Rookie of the Year honours. McGwire and teammate Jose Canseco became known as the "Bash Brothers" as the two men combined for 154 home runs during the 1987 and 1988 seasons. In 1988 McGwire made his first World Series appearance but managed only one hit, a home run, as the A's lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The following year his .343 postseason batting average paced Oakland to victory in the World Series. Injuries, however, soon plagued him, and from 1993 to 1995 he missed 290 games. In 1996, after briefly contemplating retirement, McGwire became only the 13th player to hit 50 home runs in a single season. Traded to the Cardinals the following year, he posted 58 homers and elected against free agency to sign a three-year, $30 million deal with St. Louis, $1 million of which he used to help abused children.

      Talk of Maris's record dominated the start of the 1998 season. The 1.96-m (6-ft 5-in), 133-kg (250-lb) McGwire responded with a grand slam on opening day and months later hit the longest homer of his career (166 m [545 ft]). Midway through the season the quest for 61 home runs became a race as McGuire was joined by Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa (q.v.). On Sept. 1, 1998, McGwire broke Hack Wilson's 68-year-old National League record (56). Six days later, on his father's 61st birthday, McGwire tied Maris's mark.

AMY TIKKANEN

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • McGwire,Mark David — Mc·Gwire (mə gwīrʹ), Mark David. Born 1963. American baseball player. In 1987 he broke the single season record for home runs hit by a rookie, and in 1998 he set a new record for home runs hit in one season, surpassing Roger Maris and Sammy Sosa …   Universalium

  • McGwire, Mark (David) — born Oct. 1, 1963, Pomona, Calif., U.S. U.S. baseball player. McGwire played first base in college, then joined the Oakland Athletics in 1987 and quickly displayed the strength that would become his trademark. His 49 home runs hit during his… …   Universalium

  • McGwire, Mark (David) — (n. 1 oct. 1963, Pomona, Cal., EE.UU.). Beisbolista estadounidense. En sus años universitarios jugó en primera base; en 1987 se unió a los Oakland Athletics. Pronto mostró la potencia que habría de ser su marca registrada. Los 49 home runs que… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • McGwire, Mark — ▪ American athlete in full  Mark David McGwire  born October 1, 1963, Pomona, California, U.S.       professional baseball player, considered one of the most powerful hitters in the history of the game. In 1998 he set a major league record for… …   Universalium

  • David — (rey de Israel) V. «lágrimas de David». * * * David. □ V. estrella de David, lágrimas de David. * * * Esta página se refiere al rey bíblico de Israel. Para otros significados del término véase David (desambiguación). David (דָּוִד Amado ) fue el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • David — /day vid/ for 1, 2, 5; Fr. /dann veed / for 3, 5; Sp. /dah veedh / for 4, 5, n. 1. died c970 B.C., the second king of Israel, reigned c1010 c970, successor to Saul: slayer of the Philistine giant Goliath. 2. Saint. Also called Dewi Sant. A.D.… …   Universalium

  • mark — mark1 /mahrk/, n. 1. a visible impression or trace on something, as a line, cut, dent, stain, or bruise: a small mark on his arm. 2. a badge, brand, or other visible sign assumed or imposed: a mark of his noble rank. 3. a symbol used in writing… …   Universalium

  • Mark — /mahrk/, n. 1. one of the four Evangelists: traditionally believed to be the author of the second Gospel. 2. the second Gospel: to read aloud from Mark. 3. King, Arthurian Romance. ruler of Cornwall, husband of Iseult and uncle of Sir Tristram. 4 …   Universalium

  • Mark — (as used in expressions) Clark, Mark (Wayne) Hanna, Mark Hopkins, Mark McGwire, Mark (David) Morris, Mark Roget, Peter Mark Rothko, Mark Scott, Paul (Mark) Spitz, Mark (Andrew) Strand, Mark Tobey, Mark …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mark McGwire — Mark McGuire redirects here. For the American musician Mark McGuire, see Emeralds (band). Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals …   Wikipedia

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