Fall Premier Auction 2019

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On August 5, 1999, Mark McGwire became the 16th player in MLB history to reach the 500 home run plateau, a year after captivating baseball fans worldwide during his glorious pursuit of the single-season mark. The former Bash Brother, who made a not-so-bashful debut with the A’s in 1987 by smashing a then-rookie record 49 homers, hit an even greater stride with the St. Louis Cardinals a decade later. Big Mac’s powerful bat and 19” biceps were on full display in 1998 when he and Sammy Sosa took part in an unprecedented “arms race” of sorts that saw each slugger break Roger Maris’ single-season record held since ‘61. McGwire finished with 70, nine more than Maris and four ahead of Sosa, and entered the ’99 season with 457 career dingers. In an equally impressive follow-up campaign, he would launch 65 more homers, reaching the elite 500 Club in fewer at-bats (5,487) than any member.

On a hot August evening at Busch Stadium, number 500 was a blast for the ages, a solo shot in the third inning off Padres starter Andy Ashby that landed well over the centerfield wall. It would be the first of two Mac hit off Ashby that night. Featured here is the very ball that McGwire crushed an estimated 450 feet for home run #500 that special night in St. Louis. The Official National League (Coleman) baseball exhibits ample game usage with light soiling and scuffing. The “R” of the Rawlings stamp has been filled in with black marker, presumably to identify it as the important milestone ball. Includes LOA from PSA/DNA (K72199) authenticating it as McGwire’s 500th home run baseball.

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