McGwire as the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach in April 2013
|Born: October 1, 1963|
|August 22, 1986, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 7, 2001, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||1,414|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963), nicknamed Big Mac, is an American former professional baseball first baseman. His Major League Baseball (MLB) playing career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, winning one World Series championship each with Oakland as a player in 1989 and with St. Louis as a coach in 2011. One of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, McGwire holds the major league career record for at bats per home run ratio (10.6), and is the former record holder for both home runs in a single season (70 in 1998) and home runs hit by rookie (49 in 1987).
He ranks 11th all time in home runs with 583, and led the major leagues in home runs in five different seasons, while establishing the major league record for home runs hit in a four-season period from 1996−1999 with 245. Further, he demonstrated exemplary patience as a batter, producing a career .394 on-base percentage (OBP) and twice leading the major leagues in bases on balls. Injuries cut short the manifestation of even greater potential as he reached 140 games played in just eight of 16 total seasons. A right-handed batter and thrower, McGwire stood 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighed 245 pounds (111 kg) during his playing career.
From Pomona, California, the Athletics chose McGwire with the 10th overall selection in the 1984 MLB draft, and he was a member of the silver medal-winning entry of the United States national team that same year at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. As a rookie in 1987, he quickly grabbed media attention with 33 home runs before the All-Star break, and would lead the major leagues in home runs that year with 49, while setting the single-season rookie record. He appeared in six straight All-Star Games from 1987 to 1992 despite a brief career decline related to injuries. Another string of six consecutive All-Star appearances followed from 1995 to 2001. Each season from 1996 to 1999, he again led the major leagues in home runs.
A part of the 1998 Major League Baseball home run record chase of Roger Maris' 61 with the Cardinals, McGwire set the major league single-season home run record with 70, which Barry Bonds broke three years later with 73. McGwire also led the league in runs batted in, twice in bases on balls and on-base percentage, and four times in slugging percentage. Injuries significantly cut into his playing time in 2000 and 2001 before factoring into his retirement. He finished with 583 home runs, which was fifth all-time when he retired.
For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.76). He was the fastest player to hit 500 home runs, in 5,487 at-bats.
McGwire was a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2010, McGwire publicly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a large portion of his career. In his first ten years of eligibility, McGwire has not been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.