The Cardinals went 83-79 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League Central division, 18 games behind the Houston Astros. First baseman Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record this season by hitting 70 home runs, battling with the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa, who finished runner-up in the National League with 66.
December 5: Signed free agent outfielder Willie McGee.
January 8: Signed free agent pitcher Kent Bottenfield.
March 30: Traded Craig Shipley to the Anaheim Angels for Chip Hale.
On May 8, McGwire hit career home run number 400 in his 4,726th at bat, faster than any other player in history who reached 400 home runs.
Facing Liván Hernández on May 16, McGwire hit his longest home run of the season, estimated at 545 feet.
McGwire hit home run number 50 of the season on August 20, becoming the first Major League ballplayer in history with three consecutive 50-plus home run seasons.
McGwire broke Roger Maris’ 37-year-old record of 61 home runs on September 8 with a low line drive over Busch Stadium’s left field fence. Known for hitting many long home runs, it was ironically the shortest home run McGwire hit that season.
Opening Day Lineup
Royce Clayton, SS
Delino DeShields, 2B
Mark McGwire, 1B
Ray Lankford, OF
Brian Jordan, OF
Ron Gant, OF
Gary Gaetti, 3B
Tom Lampkin, C
Todd Stottlemyre, P
June 2: Drafted J. D. Drew in the 1st round with the 5th pick of the 1998 amateur draft. Player signed July 3, 1998.
April 14: The Cleveland Indians selected David Bell off waivers.
July 31: Traded Todd Stottlemyre and Royce Clayton to the Texas Rangers for Darren Oliver, Fernando Tatís and a player to be named later. The Rangers sent Mark Little on August 9 to the Cardinals to complete the trade.
August 16: Released catcher Tom Pagnozzi.
Scorecard for McGwire’s 70th
Entering the game on September 27 against the Montreal Expos, McGwire had 68 Home Runs. In the third inning, McGwire hit a home run off of Mike Thurman, and in the seventh, he got number 70 off of Carl Pavano. The ball was caught by Philip Ozersky. In January 1999, Todd McFarlane purchased Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from the 1998 season for a record $3 million.
September 27, Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Montreal 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
St. Louis 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 x 6 9 2
W: Frascatore (3-4) L: Pavano (6-9) SV: Acevedo (15) HRs: Cabrera (3), Tatis (8), McGwire 2 (69, 70)
Attendance: 46,110 Time:2:33 U-HP–Rich Rieker, 1B–Joe West, 2B–Kerwin Danley, 3B–Brian Gorman
The Mark McGwire Highway
A section of Interstate 70 running through downtown St. Louis was renamed “The Mark McGwire Highway.” His record stood until Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001.