The sports world is buzzing about the St. Louis Cardinals hiring former Home Run King, Mark McGwire as their hitting coach. While I personally have nothing against “Big Mac”, I am surprised that he was given a shot by baseball considering that he was directly involved with the Steroid Era.
Like millions of other fans, I was captivated by McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s 1998 season. After McGwire crushed 58 home runs in 1997, I picked up two of his 1985 Topps rookie cards for a measly $30 dollars. By the end of the decade, Beckett valued the card at well over $200 dollars.
Everything changed when Jose Canseco ratted out baseball after being blackballed. Even the biggest Big Mac supporter had to feel shame after watching McGwire refuse to “talk about the past” in front of congress and then disappear into thin air with the exception of rare public appearances here and then.
As for that once valuable 1985 Topps which features McGwire as a skinny, pale kid … you can find it on eBay for under $1 dollar. His certified autographs however are a different story. Since Mark only signed with Upper Deck for a short time, there is not a lot out there and the prices reflect the dry market.
As for steroids in baseball, I’d be foolish to assume it’s now a thing of the past. Considering the fact that Tony LaRussa has been associated with two of the biggest Juicers of all-time in Canseco and McGwire and defended them while their manager, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was another cheater on the Cardinals today.
I’m not talking about Rick Ankiel …