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  • Cards fans: How do you rate Mark McGwire

    I'm not puuting this out as a polling response.

    Instead, I'd like to hear what each of you have to say about "Big Mac's" overall status in the history of this great franchise.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll lead off.

    IMO, Mark deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Dizzy, Rajah, Stan "the man", Gibby, Lou, and Ozzie, amongst others.

    When he was healthy, he did his best to contribute to the success of this team. I cannot pin the blame on him, because the team's management got blinded by the hype and hysteria of his home run barrage. I think Mark would have traded all of that in for a shot a the World Series Championship.

    Since he's stepped away, I've seen a few hard shots launched in his direction.

    To thoswe who have a negative opinion of him, keep in mind that he walked away from HUGE guarenteed money.

    Although Mark was only here for four years, I feel that #25 deserves a spot amongst the Cardinals' immortals.
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  • #2
    I agree, but I dont think Cardinal Nation had the connection with him that they have had with past greats. I only say that because it seemed that with so much press surrounding his time here, he played on "America's team." It seemed like he was more on a national stage, than he was a Cardinal.

    But, he loved the fans and they love him.
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    • #3
      I rank McGwire in the second-tier of stars. The first-tier is the long-time Cardinals who were Hall of Famers--Stan the Man, Ozzie, Brock, Gibson, Dean, Hornsby, and I'm probably forgetting some.

      The second-tier is the guys who played at a high level for a long time, or who were around for only a short time but were awesome in their short time--Boyer, McGee, Cepeda, Flood, Edmonds (for now, at least).

      It's impossible to overstate what McGwire meant to the franchise. It's also impossible to overstate the way management wasted most of the McGwire years.

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      • #4
        McGwire was something else but definitely not on the plane of a guy like Ozzie that was so good for so long as a Cardinal.
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        • #5
          Very sore subject with me.

          First let me say this part, I don't think he can be mentioned in the same breath as those other guys, they are "true" Cardinals and legends of the franchise.

          Now on to my personal opinion of the guy.

          I was a HUGE fan, I had him in fantasy baseball, bought the satellite MLB package back when he was in Oakland just to watch him swing.
          I thought he was the real deal nice guy, loved kids and just played the game.

          Then you find out he is one of the games great butt heads.

          He was a GREAT bomber, wasn't a great hitter but obviously had unreal power, but over all He burned me, to me he is a bum.
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          • #6
            Mover here in 81. Been a Cards fan since.

            MM saved the franchise and baseball. He ranks up there right behind Ozzie in my book. (Again, look at when I started watching them)

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            • #7
              Mark was the reason people went to games. Kind of like fighting is the reason people go to hockey games. The question was always asked, "did Mac hit one?" at the baseball games and the hockey one would be "were there any fights". For some if neither was done, the game was not worth watching.

              I have always been a fan of his going back to his days in Oakland. To me he ranks up there with the short-term legends that have played in St Louis. Since he was only here 4 years and not a long time like Ozzie, Gibson, Lou, Stan, etc.
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              • #8
                I'm pretty much like the majority on here. He wasn't here long enough to be put in with the likes of Gibby, Brock, and etc.. I would agree with Dev and he blongs in the 2nd tier.

                Personal opinion. He was an alright guy. I agree with Brian jordan tho, it seems when he was here the emphasis seemed to be on him instead of winning. It was fun though... He most certainly should be honored for what he accomplished.
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                • #9
                  He was a fascinating individual in a team game. Provided one of the great years in franchise history -- 1998 -- and the most memorable regular season moment, hitting No. 62 (although I'll always have a soft spot for Brummer's steal of home.)

                  But he's not one of the all-timers, in my view. First, because he didn't play here long enough. Second, and more importantly, because the team did not win a pennant/series ring while he was here. Not many of the others -- Brock, Gibson, Dizzy, Stan the Man, Ozzie -- you can say that about.
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                  • #10
                    I was caught up in Mcgwire mania just like everybody else. I usually go to 10 games a year, his record year I went to at least 40.

                    He is one of my favorites but I cannot rank him historically with other cardinal greats, Hornsby. Medwick, Dean, Slaughter, Musial, Schoendienst, Boyer, Brock, Gibson, Ozzie.

                    I say the most similar cardinal stars to McGwire would be Sutter, who was amazing for a short period of time, and Alexander who won us a series and was a fan favorite at the end of his career. Also if McGwire has a day and his # retired when will Willie get his due?

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                    • #11
                      I don't know if I can rank him with Cardinal greats. He wasn't really here long enough to be mentioned in the same breath.

                      He should be a first ballot vote for Cooperstown, though.

                      He and Sosa were singlehandedly responsible for reviving interest in baseball.

                      And think about it; despite the pressure that did nothing but increase exponentially throughout that season...

                      All he did was continue to go out and hit bombs.
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                      • #12
                        Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa -

                        Did much to save baseball as we know it - and for that I may never forgive them.

                        After the strike many - including me - where upset and attendance was down. Then the big redhead starts sending out at a record pace. Then Sosa gets hot. Then the soap opera was on - and I like others was drawn in.

                        I forgot that between the owners and players they somehow managed to cancel a world series - something War hadn't done. That the players were pampered twits and owners were rich pampered twits.

                        The concept of being nice to fans was thrown out the window again as people from all over the world came to St. Louis to interview anybody.

                        Instead of baseball changing - it got worse. The spectacle became more important than the play.

                        Mark McGwire was the greatest show on earth that year - better than Rock and Roll - better than broadway - better than Six Flags.

                        The McGwire clap was amazing - as he would get in the batters box people would begin clapping at first slowly and then faster and faster in anticipation of the pitch. With 40,000 people clapping- and millions on radio and TV watching he came through far too many times to be human.

                        It moved past entertainment - to spectacle.

                        He is not among the great Cardinals - Ray Lankford has a better claim than he. He was for one season the greatest spectacle in a Cardinal uniform - but he is not among the great Cardinals.
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                        • #13
                          Bittersweet. So many of his homeruns could have been more important---he would tie up a game or put the birds in the lead---the bullpen would blow the games. One of the years, 98 or 99, the Cardinals were actually within striking distance of the playoffs as late as September 1st. They made it in 2000 and 2001---his half seasons. Bittersweet for me, because his biggest effect was to postpone the dumping of the incompetent Tony LaRussa.
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                          • #14
                            Stan Musial didn't play on a lot of great Cardinal teams, but his numbers and devotion to St Louis speaks for him.

                            It seems like all of the other Cardinal legends, Brock, Dean, Gibby, Ozzie, etc, played on some great Cardinal teams. Most of those guys are talked about by Cardinal fans in the context of the championship teams they played on.

                            Mac was a great power hitter. But played on a couple of the worst Cardinal teams in recent memory. I blame that on Cardinal management though, because I think Mark loved St Louis and was a first class competitor.

                            Two reasons he can't be with the elite Cardinals. 1) No flags. 2) He will always be associated with that bunny-hopping lunkhead Sosa. That doesn't sit well.
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                            • #15
                              Guy who hit a bunch of home runs that ultimately didn't mean anything.

                              He didn't save baseball for me.

                              "Whadda ya want me to do, bunt?" No, not you, Mark. Just go up there and strike out some more.
                              I'm always right.

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