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Willie McGee

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Willie Dean McGee

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[edit] Biographical Information

Willie McGee was the National League MVP in 1985, when he won the batting title with a .353 average. He was a 4 time All-Star, representing the St. Louis Cardinals in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1988. He won 3 Gold Glove awards in '83, '85 and 1986.

In addition to the 1985 title, Willie also won the 1990 National League batting title in a way that drew a lot of attention. He was traded after playing 125 games with the 1990 Cardinals and posting a .335 average. With the pennant-winning 1990 Athletics for the remainder of the season, he hit .274 to end with an overall batting average of .324. Since his .335 average in the 1990 National League was the highest in that league, he won the title despite having only the 6th best batting average in the major leagues and finishing the season with a lower overall batting average than the player who he beat for the batting title, Eddie Murray, who hit .330 in the 1990 National League. He became the only player in history to win a batting title in one league after being traded to the other.

St. Louis Cardinals player Willie McGee tags second base during a game at Busch Stadium

The press liked to note that McGee was a shy, ordinary-type guy who found himself a star.

Willie was born in San Francisco, CA and attended high school in Richmond, CA. Drafted originally by the New York Yankees, he eventually played parts of 10 seasons in the minors, although only five were anything close to complete seasons. In 1981 with Nashville he hit .322 with 7 home runs as a teammate of the young Don Mattingly, who hit .316 with 7 home runs. Mattingly at age 20 was two years younger than McGee.

He was a regular in his first major league season, appearing in 123 games for the 1982 Cardinals who won the 1982 World Series. While most of his career was with the Cardinals, he also spent four seasons playing for his home-town team, the San Francisco Giants, for whom he twice hit .300.

There is no player, according to the similarity scores method, who has a score higher than 884 with regard to McGee, showing that Willie was pretty unique. The most similar player, Hal Chase, was a totally different personality who played in a totally different era. A more relevant comparison who ranks as the third-most similar player is Ken Griffey, Sr., who was a contemporary of Willie. Oddly, while Griffey is #3 on Willie's list of most similar players, Willie is not in the top ten of Griffey's most similar players, all of whom score over 890.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 1982 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • NL MVP (1985)
  • 4-time NL All-Star (1983, 1985, 1987 & 1988)
  • 3-time Gold Glove Winner (1983, 1985 & 1986)
  • NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1985)
  • 2-time NL Batting Average Leader (1985 & 1990)
  • NL Hits Leader (1985)
  • NL Singles Leader (1985)
  • NL Triples Leader (1985)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1987)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1985)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1985)
  • Won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982


NL MVP
1984 1985 1986
Ryne Sandberg Willie McGee Mike Schmidt

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