Tuesday, June 9, 2015

#435 Willie McGee

About the Front: That's a pretty unusual stance for catching a fly ball. It almost looks like Willie McGee is slightly crouched, as if he were preparing to jump. He's clearly playing at Wrigley Field, so I guess a gust of wind could have carried the ball off-course.

About the Back: As you can see, Willie won an unconventional National League batting title in 1990. He was traded to Oakland at the end of August, but had already accumulated enough appearances in St. Louis to qualify for the N.L. crown. So despite the fact that his .274 average in the American League lowered his overall mark to .324, lower than Eddie Murray's .330 average with the Dodgers, McGee was still the top hitter in the senior circuit. Clear as mud?

Triple Play:

1. He won three Gold Gloves as the Cardinals' center fielder (1983, 1985, and 1986), captured a Silver Slugger award in 1985, and was also the 1985 N.L. MVP.

2. McGee finished his career back in St. Louis, spanning the 1996 through 1999 seasons. In a notable moment on April 8, 1997, he hit a walkoff pinch homer against Montreal's Ugueth Urbina in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Cards' home opener. Not only was it the first game-ending home run of his career, it gave St. Louis their first win after a season-opening six-game losing skid.

3. Willie has been a special assistant to Cardinals' GM John Mozeliak since 2013. Last year, he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It's kind of inspiring that somebody so strange-looking could be such a successful athlete. Still, it seems mean-spirited for folks to say that he looks like E.T.

Bill James Said: "Hit 3.5 times as many ground balls as fly balls, the highest ratio in the major leagues by far (253-73)."

On This Date in 1993: June 9. Lefty Terry Mulholland shuts out the Astros as the Phillies win 8-0. It's the third straight complete game for the veteran, who allows six hits and no walks and strikes out nine. Philly batters club four home runs, and Jim Eisenreich finishes a single shy of hitting for the cycle.


  1. I see more Mr. Bean than E.T. (at least in that back headset).

  2. That 1990 batting season makes for great trivia - Eddie Murray leads the majors in average without leading a league!

    1. I hope Eddie didn't have any contract incentives for winning a batting title. Imagine how ticked off he would've been!