Mark McGwire is remembered by baseball fans for many things. First on the list would be his record-setting 70 home run season in 1998. His 70th home run ball sold for a record $3 million. Fans also remember his admission years later of using performance-enhancing drugs.
No matter what you think of McGwire’s accomplishments, his place in the game’s history is undeniable. He was one of the game’s most prolific home run hitters for a long time, whether those home runs were legitimate or not. It allowed McGwire to amass quite a fortune. But how much is McGwire worth exactly?
Mark McGwire’s MLB career
McGwire burst onto the scene with an outstanding rookie year in 1987. Not only did he win the AL Rookie of the Year Award with the Oakland A’s, he led the entire league in home runs with 49. McGwire made up one half of the highly touted Bash Brothers tandem with fellow slugger Jose Canseco. McGwire played 16 seasons.
A 1997 trade sent McGwire from Oakland to St. Louis, where he truly made history. In 1998, McGwire embarked on a legendary pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season home run record.
As he and Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa both chased the record, it would be McGwire who would finish with more. He hit an astounding 70 home runs that season. He retired in 2001 having hit 583 home runs.
McGwire and Sosa’s summer captivated the nation. But the specter of his impressive feat would soon crumble like a house of cards once McGwire admitted to using PEDs.
The fall from grace of Mark McGwire
Rumors about McGwire’s PED usage followed him throughout his career. It would be almost impossible to look at his gaudy home run numbers and not speculate. While McGwire’s power numbers were unbelievable when he played, he also had multiple injury issues throughout his career — not uncommon for steroid users.
Despite the speculation, McGwire wouldn’t confirm what everyone else seemingly knew until 2010 when he admitted that he used PEDs. Even in the face of his transgression, McGwire was adamant that it didn’t aid him in hitting home runs — only that it helped him stay on the field, as he said in an interview with Bob Costas reported by ESPN:
“You don’t know that you’ll ever have to talk about the skeleton in your closet on a national level…I did this for health purposes. There’s no way I did this for any type of strength use.”
What is his net worth
The website Celebrity Net Worth estimates McGwire’s net worth at $60 million. McGwire put away quite a bit of money during his playing days from his MLB contracts, earning $128,000 for every home run.
Luckily for McGwire, the stain of his PED usage didn’t hamper him from a post-retirement career in the sport he loves. Following his playing career, he became a hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres.
McGwire eventually left coaching when he decided to spend more time with his family, opting for his sons’ high school baseball games over MLB ones.
There’s no denying McGwire’s talent — not every PED user was able to produce the numbers he did. There’s no denying that he profited off of his PED usage, however. Using PEDs, even if they were just to keep him healthy, gave McGwire a decided advantage he was able to use to build his massive net worth.
Whether it was worth it is a question only McGwire can answer. While he still has the memories of the home runs, he has yet to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Only time will tell if he ever gets in.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference