|ark McGwire was born two years to the day after
Maris hit his 61st home run in 1961. On September 8, 1998, two days before what would have
been Maris' 64th birthday, Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the 1998 season. The
powerful line-drive that just passed over the left field wall at Busch Memorial Stadium
was not the typical Big Mac bomb, but his exuberance and show of respect in surpassing
Maris' record was vintage McGwire. Following his jubilant trot around the base paths, Mark
hugged his son, his teammates, and fellow slugger Sammy Sosa. But McGwire saved his most
emotional embraces for Roger Maris' children, five of whom were in attendance at the
ballpark to watch their father's record fall.
McGwire and Sosa's battle for the home run crown continued over the final weeks of the season. It was not until Big Mac bombed an astounding five home runs in the Cardinals' final series of the year, that he broke away from Sosa and boldly wrote an imposing new figure in baseball's record books: 70 home runs in a single season.