Just reported last night, Mark McGwire is comeing back to St. Louis as a hitting instructor.  This brings an interesting question to the table.  Is Mark McGwire still as popular as ever?  Would you buy Mark McGwire autographed cards.  Has his self imposed leave from baseball been long enough that we the ffans forgive him?

Oddly, and it’s hard to put this into words, I am still a fan of McGwire, while I loathe Barry Bonds.  I am not alone in my feelings.  Even though I feel both are guilty of using PEDs, I still am enamoured with McGwire.  Personally, after he hit his 70 home runs in a season, I considered him my generation’s Babe Ruth.  The drug allegations didn’t bother me, they just made me want to defend him more (even though I felt that he was guilty), I just wanted it not to be true.

As far as Barry goes, maybe I just never liked him since he played for ASU.  Seriously though, like I said earlier, I can’t put it into words why I never liked him.  If I had to guess though it was because I knew he was going to break Mark’s single season record and would go on to have more homers than him as well.  Even though they are both guilty in my mind, I will always be a fan of McGwire and always will dislike Bonds.

Back to McGwire though, I think him coming back as a hitting instructor is a good thing.  He obviously in his prime, was a tremendous hitter, not only for power but also for average.  Can he help tutor the young Cardinals into becoming a better hitting team?  I think so, I think the current players would respect him for the numbers he put up and if he could help that already potent outfield, imagine what kind of lineup they could put together.

From a collecting standpoint, the 1985 Topps McGwire rookie was one of my all time favorite cards.  If I had a chance to get an autograph or game used card, I would definitely get it.  His certified autographs and game used cards are going for big bucks on eBay.  Even though the quantities aren’t even that limited.  The Barry Bonds autographed cards on the other hand sell for a 10th on average of McGwire’s cards.  From that alone I know I’m not alone in my feelings toward McGwire.  I hope he get’s back into baseball full time. I for one has missed him.

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10 responses »

  1. deal says:

    This McGwire story is odd. and the timing also odd. Baseball is careful about having a moratorium on big baseball hiring/firing/contract news during the post-season. And I am pretty sure the Cards excluded or at least downplayed any McGwire involvement in the All-Star festivities this past summmer.

    I wonder if LaRussa made McGwire’s hiring a condition for him (LaRussa) to return.

  2. I’d be more inclined to welcome him back to baseball if he would admit what he was doing and get it over with.

  3. DC in NJ says:

    Baseball “USED” McGwire & Sosa when they needed
    them to bring the fans back after the strike.

    Who didn’t watch & cheer on the HR race.
    It was amazing to see.

    The one thing about sports is you want to see players do something you can’t do ….Like hit 500 ft Home Runs.

    McGwire hit 49 HR as a skinny rookie. I’m glad he
    is back. Vick killed dogs and he is back in the game.

    Time to move forward!

  4. RoofGod says:

    Personally I am glad that McGwire is back in the game. He was and still is I guess my favorite player. Hopefuly Topps Heritage will do coaches cards again this year, I need new McGwire’s to collect.

  5. Peter Graham says:

    I feel the same way you do, Chemgod, except for one thing. I do know why I don’t like Bonds. He was typically a jerk in the club house and too cocky. McGwire to me at least seemed like a good guy.

  6. jswaykos says:

    I couldn’t care less about whether he does or doesn’t become involved with baseball again. As far as I’m concerned, he only did what everyone else in the league was doing (not that that makes something right), but I don’t fault him.

    As for cards – no, I wouldn’t purchase an auto card of him specifically, but I wouldn’t do that for anyone. I WOULD be pumped to find a jersey/auto card of his in a pack, though!

  7. Shaun says:

    The problem with him being the hitting coach is that any improvements made by the team at the plate will have a cloud over them. Some people will wonder if he’s giving the players more than just some pointers to improve their hitting.

  8. Brian says:

    I know both Bonds and McGwire were on some kind of drug at some point. The only difference is that McGwire was a lot easier to like because he embraced fans and the game. Bonds always seemed arrogant. Maybe this is an unfair portrayal by the media. Even though both players cheated, I always felt like McGwire was a better guy.

  9. ToddUncommon says:

    McGwire, even if allowed his gruffier moments, was never even close to the total self-absorbed douche nozzle that Bonds personified on a regular basis.

    I do think that if McGwire has a chance at rehabbing his reputation, much less enough to maybe get in the HOF, he does have to make an involved return to baseball. However, his congressional testimony ranks as one of the most cowardly performances I’ve seen televised. He had a chance to elevate himself above the fray, and take the high road.

    Instead, he circled the wagons with the other baseball fraternity members, and chickened out. I think the disappointment that many feel about McGwire is rooted as much in his cowardly dodging of the issue, rather than actually taking the drugs and cheating to begin with. He had a golden opportunity to be truthful and admitting as much as he should, and blew it.

    Re-entering baseball means that if he is to earn credibility, he needs to go full disclosure, with apologies so sincere that the Great Pumpkin shows up. He needs to realize the fans’ capacity for forgiveness, and we will be listening for it now that cameras will be on him again.

    I think that even reasonable suspicion of being a drug cheat is enough to prevent entry into the HOF ,for the harm done to the game over selfish and merely incremental personal gain. However, if McGwire comes back to the game, contributes even more to the game later in life, and helps to keep it as clean as possible, then HOF entry can be his through the character clause, rather than its current status as his main barrier.

  10. John Franklin says:

    I’m on board for having McGwire back in the Cardinals spotlight! The media, however are divided. If you want to hear some of the opinions that are floating around out there, check out this video by Newsy.com: http://bit.ly/Al8zE

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