During the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was no professional model bat from the modern era more desirable than one used by Mark McGwire. While the demand for his bats has softened a bit, McGwire gamers are still an important piece of a comprehensive bat collection. McGwire was one of the most consistent players in baseball when it came to the bats he used. Early in his career, McGwire did use some Louisville Sluggers (block letter), but he clearly preferred Rawlings/Adirondack bats for the majority of his career—he used them from his rookie-era until his playing days were over.
McGwire wore number "25" for his entire career; however, it is important to note that while it is not uncommon to find his uniform number noted on bats used during his Oakland A's days, the knobs of his bats were not marked with his number as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. You may also see "MAC" written on some of his early A's gamers.
McGwire did use pine tar and the pattern is fairly unique. On well-used gamers, particularly from his last few seasons with Oakland and well into his St. Louis days, you will often see a concentrated coating of tar on the upper handle, towards the center brand. You will also see remnants of tar and grip marks from his batting gloves near the lower portion of the handle. Even though his single-season home run record was broken, bats used during the historic 1998 home run chase tend to sell for a premium.
It is important to note, however, that a lot of unused bats escaped from the clubhouse during that time. They are real, professional model bats but often do not possess the proper characteristics for well-used McGwire gamers.
Mark David McGwire (October 1, 1963-) holds the record for hitting the fewest triples of any player with 5,000 or more at-bats and had the lowest at-bats per home run ratio in history with 10.61 with Babe Ruth in second (11.76). The Oakland Athletics selected Mark with the tenth overall pick of the 1984 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Southern California. Mark burst in the Major Leagues belting 33 home runs by the All-Star break in his rookie season and a league leading 49 by seasons’ end, as well as a rookie record, earning the 1987 American League Rookie of the Year Award by unanimous decision. In his rookie season he earned his first of 12 All-Star Game appearances and his 49 home runs surpassed the previous record shared by Wally Berger and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. McGwire played on the Oakland Athletics (1986-1997) alongside fellow sluggers like "Bash Brother" Jose Canseco, Terry Steinbach, Dave Henderson and Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. He won three Silver Slugger Awards, and in an effort to show his diverse skills, earned an AL Gold Glove at first base in 1990, winning the only award not given to the New York Yankees’ Don Mattingly between 1985 and 1994. McGwire and the A’s played in three straight World Series from 1988-1990 winning the 1989 World Series title over the San Francisco Giants in what is referred to as the "Earthquake Series."
In 1997, McGwire was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals where he wowed fans with his superhuman power at the plate as he led the Major League in home runs in 1997 (34 – Oakland/24 – St. Louis). In 1998, with the help of fellow sluggers Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa and Seattle Mariners’’ Ken Griffey Jr., McGwire starred in the season long home run derby, in a chase for Roger Maris’ single season home run record, that is often credited for bringing the fans back to baseball after the 1994 MLB strike soured so many fans. McGwire and Sosa battled to the end of the season finishing with 70 and 66 respectively. (Griffey had 56.) Mark had four consecutive years with 50 or more hoe runs. He led the league in HRs and slugging percentage four times, twice in walks and on-base percentage and once in RBI. Mark McGwire finished his career with a .263 batting average, 1,626 hits including 252 doubles and 583 home runs, scored 1,167 runs and drove in 1,414 runs. At the time of his retirement, Big Mac was ranked fifth in career home runs. Following his retirement, McGwire joined the St. Louis Cardinals as hitting coach and captured his second World Series title in 2011. He has since served the Dodgers and Padres in a similar capacity.
Approximate Value: $1200