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Mark McGwire

Rebuilding a tarnished career

Michael Lewis

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Mark McGwire

Drafted in the first round of
the 1984 baseball draft by
the Oakland A's Won the American League
Rookie of the Year Award
in 1987 With fellow "Bash Brother"
Jose Canseco, McGwire led the
A's to three World Series in a
row, from 1988-1990, winning
in 1989 In the early- to mid-nineties,
as McGwire began to age,
injuries began to take a toll on
his career. Foot injuries limited McGwire
to just 74 games in 1993 and '94,
and he missed another 50 games
in 1995 McGwire's health returned in 1996,
and he won the home run title that year.
The next year, he was traded at midseason
to the St Lous Cardinals. That year, he led
the majors in home runs with 58, the fourth-
highest HR total in history at that time. The following year, 1998, he made
baseball history Many observerers took note
of McGwire's physical
transformation from his rookie
year to his thirties. In 2005, McGwire's former teammate
Jose Canseco wrote a tell-all book
stating that he and McGwire had
injected each other with steroids as
teammates on the A's in the 1980s. After shattering Roger Maris's single-season
home run record of 61 (McGwire finished
with 70 that year), he seemed destined to be
remembered as one of the greatest players of
all time. McGwire retired in 2002, and it seemed
inevitable that he would enter the Hall of
Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2007. Jose Canseco's book set off a firestorm of
criticism of Major League Baseball. A few
months later, a number of current and former
Major leaguers were brought before a
congressional committee to testify about the
use of steroids in baseball. McGwire's testimony received
a great deal of criticism Compare this picture from his rookie
season to what he looked like during
a guest appearance on the show "Mad
About You" after he broke the home
run record It was noted that McGwire's four best years
came after he returned from three injury-
riddled seasons. Beginning in 2007, his first year of eligibility,
McGwire has never receved votes on more
than 25% of the ballots for the Hall of Fame From there, it appeared that McGwire would
fade into obscurity, until surprisingly he was
hired this winter as hitting coach of the Cardinals. Knowing that in his new position he would have
to meet the media and would be once again
questioned about steroid use, McGwire hired former
White House Press Secretary under George Bush,
Ari Fleischer, who now runs a firm called Ari
Fleischer Sports Communications Finally, on January 11 of this year, McGwire admitted
to using steroids "on and off" over a 10-year period Still a fan favorite in St. Louis, McGwire has
been received warmly since returning to baseball.
Others wonder why it took McGwire this long to
admit to the use of performance-enhancing drugs,
and still see his legacy as tainted and unworthy of
the Hall of Fame. Questions remain: Has he done enough to rehabilitate his image to be voted into the Hall of Fame? What will fans and historians remember about McGwire? Will McGwire be remembered in a better light when other players beset by scandal, like Barry Bonds and Roger Cemens, become eligible for the Hall? Sources:




by Mike Lewis The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of
Mark McGwire
Full transcript