Friday, November 2, 2012

Quick McGwire Countdown

Mark McGwire's stay in St. Louis was brief in the grand scheme of things.  He played for three whole seasons and parts of two years.  The first half season in 1997, along with the 1998 and 1999 seasons were great.  The end of McGwire's career was hard to watch.  The 2000 Cardinals won the National League Central, but McGwire at different points of the season and used as a pinch hitter extrordinare by Tony LaRussa.  The 2001 season was terrible and if fans in St. Louis recall, McGwire actually retired via fax to ESPN.

Big Mac's career as a hitting coach was good.  The Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 with a powerful offense and also had a good year at the plate in 2012.  While I am sure that the hitting coach does have some impact on the players, I am not sure how big of a factor McGwire made on the Cardinals line up.  I guess we will find out next April.

In the meantime, I took a little time this evening to dig through my McGwire cards and pick out my top three from his career in St. Louis.  Sorry, no 1985 Topps Olympic card.

3.  1999 Topps Mark McGwire #220 62 Variation

Sure it was steroid induced, but the 1998 season was a good ride for McGwire and Cardinals fans.  The team was pretty bad.  I believe they miraculously finished above .500, but their closer was Juan Acevedo and Manny Aybar started a bunch of games.  McGwire did a great job of keeping everyone entertained.  Topps released this card in the 1999 Topps with 70 variations, or one per McGwire home run.  Great card.  

2.  2001 Pacific Private Stock Mark McGwire Bat Card

Pacific wasn't even supposed to produce McGwire relic cards since he was an Upper Deck exclusive, but I guess if you are losing your license you might as well have some fun on your way out.  Must have card for any true McGwire fan.  

1.  2002 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Mark McGwire Autograph

McGwire has had very few certified autographs hit the market over the past decade.  For along time he was an Upper Deck exclusive, but rarely signed.  In fact, I believe the majority of his autographs were issued in the 2002 Upper Deck Ovation set.  Most of the cards were recollection cards that were signed at low numbers, 9 of each Upper Deck McGwire card, and inserted into packs.  This has always been my favorite McGwire autograph.  On card, clean, with a nice signature.  

Hope McGwire does well in Los Angeles.  


  1. Sweet autograph! I am one of the few people who don't care about the steroid use. I know I'm in the minority, butI will always argue that there were other juiced players, many of them pitchers, making the playing field even. Big Mac, along with Sammy and Barry, were just more talented than everyone else, and that's why they put up such extraordinary numbers. It's one thing to stick a needle in your arm, but it's meaningless if you don't have the skills to go with the juice.

    I really hope McGwire can help the Dodgers next season.

  2. I hope McGwire helps your team out. Seems like he does a pretty good job as a coach. Have you ever tried to get him to sign? Really tough and he has two autographs. The one above is his full signature, but he rarely signs it at the park.

    1. The Cards came to LA twice in 2012, but he never signed. I will go after him next year for sure.