Mark McGwire was a professional baseball player known for his time on the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals between 1986 and 2001. He had the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history with one home run every 10.61 swings at bat. In pursuit of Roger Maris’ single season home run record, McGwire beat the record in 1998 with 70 home runs. Unfortunately, this glorious history was tarnished in 2010, when Mark McGwire admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
During his time on the Athletics from 1987-1992, McGwire’s fame skyrocketed. He was voted the AL Rookie of the Year in 1987, and he not only showcased his incredible hitting skills, but was even reward the Golden Glove for fielding in 1990. Overall, he totaled 363 home runs with the Athletics, and was voted to nine American League All-Star Teams. The only difficulties he experienced during this time occurred during 1991, when McGwire’s batting average plummeted due to personal problems at home and issues with his workout regime.
In 1997, McGwire was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1998 it was clear he was on track to break Roger Maris’ single-season home run record. Accompanied by Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr., McGwire’s race for the record garnered a huge amount of media attention. Many credit this race with reinvigorating the sport and bringing in a whole new set of young baseball fans. On September 8, 1998, McGwire hit a pitch by the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. McGwire finished the 1998 season with 70 home runs, a record that was broken three seasons later in 2001 by Barry Bonds with 73. His achievement was honored with the inaugural Babe Ruth Home Run Award.
These accolades were tarnished in 2010 when Mark McGwire, amidst a swarm of media interest in baseball steroid usage, admitted to using banned steroids to help his performance during the 1990s.