2000 33¢ New Baseball Records
Celebrate the Century
Issue Date: May 2, 2000
City: Monterey, CA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 ½
A mix of talent and nostalgia rekindled America’s interest in baseball in 1998. That summer, Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr., Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa, and St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire chased Roger Maris’ 37-year-old record of 61 home runs in one season.
By September, it appeared McGwire was on track to break this most revered of baseball records. Fans pulled for the humble McGwire, who as a boy hit a home run in his very first trip to the plate during a little league game. Crowds went wild each time “Big Mac” knocked a pitch out of the ballpark with his powerful swing.
Steve Trachsel was pitching for the Chicago Cubs during the game on Tuesday, September 8. McGwire stepped up to the plate with no runners on base in the fourth inning. He hit Trachsel’s first pitch, an 88-mile-an-hour sinking fastball, so low toward left field that it appeared it would stay in the park. Instead, the ball cleared the wall by about five feet, ricocheting off an advertising sign. Maris’ children were a few of the first people who congratulated the new home run king.
Mark McGwire earned a place not only in baseball record books. His devotion to the game and his family renewed the country’s faith in baseball, and confirmed the suspicion that American heroes still do exist.