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Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire on June 29, 2011
Sport Baseball
Drug of choice Androstenedione
Doping Sentence N/A
Current Status Retired
Personal Information
Birthdate October 1, 1963
Height 6'5"
Weight 250 lbs
Country USA
Hometown Pomona, CA

Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963), nicknamed "Big Mac", is an American former professional baseball player currently serving as hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a first baseman, McGwire played in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals between 1986 and 2001.

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). In 1987, he broke the single-season home run record for rookies, with 49. In 1998, McGwire and Sammy Sosa achieved national fame for their home run-hitting prowess in pursuit of Roger Maris' single season home run record; McGwire broke the record and hit 70 home runs that year. Barry Bonds now holds the record, after hitting 73 home runs during the 2001 season. In 2010, McGwire publicly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a large portion of his career.

In a 1998 article by Associated Press writer Steve Wilstein, McGwire confessed to taking androstenedione, an over-the-counter muscle enhancement product that had already been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the NFL, and the IOC. At the time, however, use of the substance was not prohibited by Major League Baseball and it was not federally classified as an anabolic steroid in the United States until 2004.

Jose Canseco released a book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, in 2005. In it, he wrote positively about steroids and made various claims—among them, that McGwire had used performance enhancing drugs since the 1980s and that Canseco had personally injected him with them.

In 2005, McGwire and Canseco were among 11 baseball players and executives subpoenaed to testify at a congressional hearing on steroids. During his testimony on March 17, 2005, McGwire declined to answer questions under oath when he appeared before the House Government Reform Committee. In a tearful opening statement, McGwire said:

Asking me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of television cameras will not solve the problem. If a player answers 'No,' he simply will not be believed; if he answers 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations ... My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, and myself. I will say, however, that it remains a fact in this country that a man, any man, should be regarded as innocent unless proven guilty.

On January 11, 2010, McGwire admitted to using steroids on and off for a decade and said, "I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era." He admitted using them in the 1989/90 offseason and then after he was injured in 1993. He admitted using them on occasion throughout the 1990s, including during the 1998 season. McGwire said that he used steroids to recover from injuries.

McGwire's decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. According to McGwire, he took steroids for health reasons rather than to improve performance; however, a drug dealer who claimed to have provided steroids to McGwire asserted that his use was to improve his size and strength, rather than to just maintain his health.

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