Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire is one of the most electrifying figures in
sports today. This six-foot five inch, two hundred and fifty pound monster is a
man on a mission. In fact, for the most part he is about as average as you and
me. Almost except for one major thing, he is the record holder of the most
prestigious record in all of pro sports. His name is Mark McGwire and the record
is his 70 homeruns, shattering the old record held by the Minnesota native named

Roger Maris. McGwire’s mission began when he went on to play high school
baseball for Damien High School in Claremont. After high school McGwire attend
the University of Southern California to play college baseball. McGwire would
then go on to break a few home run records while at USC. The great work he did
in USC earned him a spot on the US Olympic baseball team in 1984. This would be
the beginning of a successful career. From there, McGwire became the tenth pick
in the first round and signed with the Oakland Athletics. In McGwire’s first
year with the Oakland A’s he became Rookie of the Year. Whether hitting home
runs on the field or working with children, Mark proves he is dedicated,
successful, and one of baseball’s most popular players to watch today.

Whenever people walk into a ballpark to watch Mark McGwire on the field, people
can believe he is a dedicated player to the game of baseball. McGwire has had
much success because of all the hard practicing he does to get better each day.

After reading the a book on Mark McGwire it stated, " McGwire is always the
last player to leave the field and he workouts a few extra hours a day in the
weight room after practice" (Rains 64). McGwire’s dedication also came

"When Coach Stanley hit ground balls to McGwire, he tried to hit them hard
enough that it would hit McGwire on either the wrist or the shin" (Rains 61).

I believe the long hours of taking ground balls helped him become one of the
best fielding first baseman and earned McGwire a few Gold Glove Awards during
his career. McGwire has also shown his dedication "When McGwire took countless
ground balls on a patch of rocky ground, trying to practice some of the bad hops
and unusual bounces" (Rains 62). Without a question McGwire was determined to
work hard on his fielding. When McGwire wasn’t fielding ground balls, he would
be practicing his swing during batting practice. McGwire would make his
adjustments in batting practice to find his right stance to hit a home run. Many
players don’t take the time to work on their stance to become a better hitter
like McGwire does, which is why I think he has shown much dedication in hitting
the big home run. With this dedication, "Mark started this quest for the
record early in spring training, setting his mind on accomplishing this one goal
to be the king of all homerun hitters" (Reily 37). "When the season was all
over McGwire accomplished this goal hitting a homerun every 7.3 at bats, which
was a record pace" (Reily 36). McGwire has also shown a dedication off the
field by setting up his own foundations for children. I found an article from
the Sports Illustrated called "Mark McGwire Is A Hero For More Than His

Homers". In this article I found out a lot of important information which

McGwire does off the field when he’s not playing baseball. When McGwire
isn’t hitting homeruns on the field, he’s spending his time off the field
interacting with the kids from "The Mark McGwire Foundation for Children,
which is a foundation he has committed three million dollar of his salary to
help physically and sexually abused children in local hospitals in St. Louis and
around Los Angeles" (McGregor 22). Without a doubt this homerun hero is more
than what people think of him with the dedication he has off the field. McGregor
states, "His affinity for kids is evident when signing autographs, fulfilling

Make-A-Wish dreams or meeting abuse victims" (McGregor 22). With this
commitment to children , McGwire has been recognized by fans, media, coaches,
players, and the abuse children themselves for his time and contribution towards
these programs. McGwire has put much time into these programs for this main
reason. In the article I was reading it states, "According to the National

Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, last year protective service agencies
confirmed more than one million cases of abuse, ranging from physical