Cooperstown Choices: Mark McGwire

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2012, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty seven men on the ballot this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2012 menu at the top of the page.

Tune in Saturday, January 7, 2012 as I-70 Baseball Radio will host a panel of writers discussing the Hall Of Fame Ballot in a 2-hour special.

In this article, we take a look at Mark McGwire

Mark McGwire
Big Mac was the single season home run king for a period of time during his sixteen year career. The power hitting first baseman made his big league debut in 1986 with the Oakland A’s and eventually retired after the 2001 season that he spent with the St. Louis Cardinals. This will be McGwire’s fifth run on the Cooperstown ballot.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1986 OAK 18 53 10 10 1 0 3 9 0 4 18 .189 .259 .377 .636 77
1987 OAK 151 557 97 161 28 4 49 118 1 71 131 .289 .370 .618 .987 164
1988 OAK 155 550 87 143 22 1 32 99 0 76 117 .260 .352 .478 .830 134
1989 OAK 143 490 74 113 17 0 33 95 1 83 94 .231 .339 .467 .806 129
1990 OAK 156 523 87 123 16 0 39 108 2 110 116 .235 .370 .489 .859 143
1991 OAK 154 483 62 97 22 0 22 75 2 93 116 .201 .330 .383 .714 103
1992 OAK 139 467 87 125 22 0 42 104 0 90 105 .268 .385 .585 .970 176
1993 OAK 27 84 16 28 6 0 9 24 0 21 19 .333 .467 .726 1.193 225
1994 OAK 47 135 26 34 3 0 9 25 0 37 40 .252 .413 .474 .887 138
1995 OAK 104 317 75 87 13 0 39 90 1 88 77 .274 .441 .685 1.125 200
1996 OAK 130 423 104 132 21 0 52 113 0 116 112 .312 .467 .730 1.198 196
1997 TOT 156 540 86 148 27 0 58 123 3 101 159 .274 .393 .646 1.039 170
1997 OAK 105 366 48 104 24 0 34 81 1 58 98 .284 .383 .628 1.012 164
1997 STL 51 174 38 44 3 0 24 42 2 43 61 .253 .411 .684 1.095 182
1998 STL 155 509 130 152 21 0 70 147 1 162 155 .299 .470 .752 1.222 216
1999 STL 153 521 118 145 21 1 65 147 0 133 141 .278 .424 .697 1.120 176
2000 STL 89 236 60 72 8 0 32 73 1 76 78 .305 .483 .746 1.229 202
2001 STL 97 299 48 56 4 0 29 64 0 56 118 .187 .316 .492 .808 105
16 Seasons 1874 6187 1167 1626 252 6 583 1414 12 1317 1596 .263 .394 .588 .982 162
162 Game Avg. 162 535 101 141 22 1 50 122 1 114 138 .263 .394 .588 .982 162
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
OAK (12 yrs) 1329 4448 773 1157 195 5 363 941 8 847 1043 .260 .380 .551 .931 155
STL (5 yrs) 545 1739 394 469 57 1 220 473 4 470 553 .270 .427 .683 1.111 180
AL (12 yrs) 1329 4448 773 1157 195 5 363 941 8 847 1043 .260 .380 .551 .931 155
NL (5 yrs) 545 1739 394 469 57 1 220 473 4 470 553 .270 .427 .683 1.111 180
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/29/2011.

Why He Should Get In
From his Rookie Of The Year campaign in 1987 to his record setting 1998 season, McGwire simply hit and hit hard. His 49 home runs in 1987 set a rookie record. He led the league in home runs four times, made 12 All Star appearances, finished in the top 10 of the Most Valuable Player Award voting five times, won a Gold Glove and three silver slugger awards. His career numbers in home runs (583), runs batted in (1414), walks (1317) and slugging percentage (.588) suggest a shoe-in for Cooperstown.

Why He Should Not Get In
Only one thing keeps McGwire out of Cooperstown: his decision to do steroids. No one can tell when it began or how much it influenced his numbers. It will consistently tarnish his career and keep him from entering Cooperstown until the voters can come to terms with who can and cannot get in from one of the most controversial eras of baseball.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

Author: Bill Ivie

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