"I've been a baseball player for half my life. I'm going to miss the game." Willie McGee, 1999
Willie makes it official... We'll miss you!!!
One of the most popular players ever to wear a Cardinal's uniform, Willie now "enjoys" a standing ovation with every at-bat. He plays the same every day, every situation... with all his heart. From humble beginnings to a World Series victory in his rookie season, Willie has made his mark on Cardinal fans forever!
"I learned what hard work, focus, dedication and opportunity can do. I felt fortunate I was able to develop my skills to be a major leaguer. -- Willie
- 1982 - World Series record for highest fielding percentage in seven games. (24/24)
- 1982 - Finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting.
- 1985 - NL MVP
- 1985 - NL Batting Title, .353
- 1985 - NL hit leader, 216
- 1985 - NL triples leader, 18 (was the only Cardinal to lead the league in triples in the 1980s)
- 1985 - Silver Slugger
- 1985 - Gold Glove
- 1990 - NL Batting Title, .335 (before being traded to AL)
- Has most hits for the Cards during the 1980s (1,194)
- Has most triples for the Cards during the 1980s (71)
1982 - Called up to replace injured outfielder David Green
1983 - Earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove award.
Made his first All-Star Game appearance (going 1-for-2)
1984 - Fourth in the league in triples and ninth with 43 stolen bases.
Recorded his first career five-hit game
Drove in a career-high six runs and hit for the cycle, June 23rd in Chicago.
1985 - Career year (see above)
Became the second N.L. switch-hitter, after Pete Rose, to win a batting title.
Scored a career-high 114 runs and stole a career-high 56 bases.
Earned his second trip to the All-Star Game. (going 1-for-2, with 2 RBIs)
1986 - Earned his third Gold Glove award
50th career triple, June 7th against Chicago, in his fifth season.
First two-homer game in the regular season, July 21st against the Giant's Steve Carlton.
1987 - Career highs in homers (11) and RBIs (105)
Career high extra base hits (59)
Made his third All-Star game appearance
Had a shortstop appearance on Aug. 7th in Philadelphia.
Team-high 18 hits in the postseason.
1988 - Reached 1,000 career hits on April 26th
Appeared in his fourth and last All-Star Game
Toured Japan with the ML All-Star team in the off-season
1989 - Only appeared in 58 games due to numerous injuries during the season
Appeared in his 1,000th game on May 21st.
1990 - Won the NL batting title with a .335 for the Cards.
Traded to Oakland on August 29th for Felix Jose, Stan Royer, and Daryl Green
Appeared in all four games of the World Series for Oakland against Cincinnati
Had a 22 consecutive game hitting streak from July 5th to August 1st.
1991 - Signed as a free agent by San Francisco
Had a 19 consecutive game hitting streak
Reached 1,500 career hits on August 25th.
1992 - Stole his 300th career base on June 13th
1993 - Batted .301 with the Giants
1994 - Only appeared in 45 games due to a torn Achilles tendon
1995 - Signed with Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket farm club in June.
Appeared in Boston's Division Series loss to Cleveland
1996 - Returned to the Cards via free agency in the off-season.
Reached 2,000 career hits on August 8th.
Established a club record for most career hits in the NLCS, 24.
1997 - Led the Cards with 16 pinch-hits.
1998 - Led all Cards with .327 average in day games and 39 pinch at-bats
1999 - Played in 132 games, the most since 1992
Scored his 1,000th career run on July 24th at Colorado
Stole his 350th career base on August 17th against Philadelphia
Completed 13 seasons with the Cards and 18th overall
They said it... Fun facts:
"(McGee) could fly. I think he was faster than (Mickey) Mantle. I thought he (Mantle) was the fastest in my time. (Willie) Mays was fast too. Mickey Rivers, he was fast. Dave Collins, Rickey Henderson, they were fast. Willie McGee was the fastest." -- Whitey Herzog
"Last week we were in Tahoe, skiing. If you think Willie look funny hitting, trust me, you got to see him get up on some skis." -- Vince Coleman
"In 1996 through '99, he was the most dangerous player off the bench in the league." -- Tony LaRussa
"Personally, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, it will be an honor for the rest of my life to be known in baseball as the player traded for Willie McGee." -- Bob Sykes
Willie holds a .586 average against Mike Scott in 44 career at-bats.
My Greatest Day in Baseball:
"My first day in the big leagues, that's my greatest day. I spent all those years in Little League and college and high school and minor league ball looking forward to that day. I don't even remember the date, but my first opportunity to play big-league ball was that day I came in to St. Louis and got an opportunity to put on a big-league uniform. But there's also other days... you look at the seventh game of the World Series that we clinched. There's just a lot, there's so many...
My first game we played against Cincinnati. Mario Soto was pitching. I didn't play, I was just here. I got called up, I was here watching. I think I pinch-hit. I hit a line drive, a one-hopper to shortstop. And then after that I felt I was able to handle myself, once I was given a chance.
I got my first hit a few days later in Atlanta. I got to start against Al Hrabosky, so that was a big thrill. It was on TBS so my family could see me. It was with the bases loaded. Everybody knows Al, he's competitive. I was a battle. It was 3-2 and he kept coming right at me. That's Al Hrabosky, he's very aggressive as a ballplayer and a pitcher. That's why he was so good.
Wasn't nothing tricky about him; he was just coming at you. It wasn't a big thing. I don't remember what the runs meant in the game. I wasn't the first guy to get a big hit off of him. I'm sure there's been a few other guys who have gotten a hit of him, and I'm sure he got me out a few times too."
Willie McGee's Official Home Page
The Baseball Page
- Cardinals GameDay Magazine/May 1996
- Cardinals GameDay Magazine/September 1997
- Cardinals GameDay Magazine/1998 #8
- Cardinals GameDay Magazine/2000 #3
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