Willie McGee

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Willie McGee is the starting centerfielder and #5 hitter for St. Louis on the NES version of RBI. Because of his spot and compared to the weak hitters in the Cardinals lineup, most consider McGee to be an above-average hitter. When taken in the whole context of the game, McGee lacks the power to be an upper-level RBI batter.


RBI Stats

Willie McGee, bowing to the crowd

Bio

  • Willie McGee, originally drafted by the Yankees, made his mark playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Willie burst onto the scene as a rookie in 1982, helping the Cards win the World Series with his solid defense and speed on the base paths. Despite an unorthodox style, frequently fooled badly by pitchers, Willie was able to amass a .299 career batting average with over 2000 hits in his 17 year career. After a successful start to his career, Willie was traded to Oakland during tight financial times for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the NL batting title as a member of the A's. Willie continued to bat around .300 while in the Bay area until succumbing to injuries in the mid '90's. At this point, he left California for a brief stint in Boston before finally returning to St. Louis for the 1996 season.
  • Willie had finally come home, and the Cardinals finally made it back to the postseason, losing the the Atlanta Braves in 7 games during the NLCS. Having been written off by most teams, a pinch hitting and occasionally starting Willie hit his way to a .307 batting average in 1996. The start of the 1997 season only added to the mythical nature of McGee for Cardinals fans. After going winless on the road to open the year, the Cards came home on a chilly April night to face the Expos. With the game tied at 1 in the bottom of the ninth, Willie came into the game to pinch hit. The remaining fans at Busch rose to their feet at the mere mention of McGee's name (from '96 until the day he retired, Willie McGee received a standing ovation EVERY time he came to bat in St. Louis), cheering only slightly louder as he blasted a solo shot to win the game.
  • Despite the Cardinals struggling as Willie's career ended, Willie continued to please the fans, hitting near .300 as a replacement player. During this time, Tony LaRussa describe him as "the most dangerous player off the bench in the league," quite the compliment for a player in the twilight of his career. After the 1999 season, Willie called it quits, retiring while still a competitive player.

Career

  • Born Born November 2, 1958 in San Francisco, CA
  • Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 7th round of the 1976 amateur draft, but did not sign.
  • Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (15th pick) of the 1977 amateur draft (Secondary Phase)
  • Played in the Big Leagues from 1982-1999
  • Traded by the New York Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals for Bob Sykes on October 21, 1981
  • Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals (August Bush IV can go to hell) to the Oakland Athletics for Felix Jose, Stan Royer, and Daryl Green (minors) on August 29, 1990
  • Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants on December 3, 1990
  • Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox on June 6, 1995
  • Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals on December 15, 1995, with whom he played until his retirement after the '99 season

etc

  • He could fly. I think he was faster than Mantle. I thought he was the fastest in my time. Mays was fast too. Mickey Rivers, he was fast. Dave Collins, Rickey Henderson, they were fast. Willie McGee was the fastest. --Whitey Herzog
  • 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
  • His love affair with this city is something special. Most of the guys who played on the team at the time he came up, in the 1980s, had a close relationship with the city. But with his humility, everyone has to love Willie. --Ozzie Smith
  • Shortly after his retirement in early 2000, a Cardinals rookie was issured jersey no.51 during a short lived call up. Despite the Cardinals not retiring Willie's number, the fans certainly had as they reacted angrily at someone else wearing their beloved #51. The number hasn't been used since.

Achievements

4 time all star, 3 time gold glove winner, 1985 MVP, and one of the most humble men to play the game

External Links and Sources