Major League Baseball

Inside The Wheelhouse: A new look at the Summer of ’98

Mark McGwire and Sammy SosaWhen news broke that Mark McGwire did steroids during his homerun record breaking season in 1998 I stopped everything I was doing and nearly fell to my knees due to being overcome with shock & disbelief. The guy had the largest arms in Baseball, hit 70 homeruns and could hit a ball over 500ft. How is it possible that he took steroids? These were questions as I was asking myself as the news broke.

If you believed that first paragraph then stopped reading right now because you have got to be kidding me!

Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa saved baseball in 1998. Their homerun race in 1998 captivated an entire country with America’s pastime back in the limelight after it left most fans with a bad taste in their mouth following the 1994 strike. I clearly remember how much fun it was watching Baseball knowing that we were in the middle of history taking place.

All Baseball fans were giving Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa standing ovations in AWAY ballparks every time they came up to bat. I remember Mark McGwire coming to Shea Stadium in New York and hitting two homeruns to reach 50 homeruns in August. You would have thought it was 1986 when the Mets won the World Series or when the Beatles played on America soil for one of their first times. McGwire had Baseball in the palm of his hand.

Yankee fans, including this one, were sporting red t-shirts with #25 McGwire on the back. He was at the time a phenomenon in itself. The summer of ’98 was going down as one of the most intriguing and exciting seasons in Baseball history and thanks to the All-American, apple pie eating, role mode & hero in Mark McGwire.

Never in our lifetime will we remember a primetime Baseball game on a national network on a Tuesday night all because America waited for one man to break the single season homerun record. Everything he was doing was too good to be true. The homeruns, the story, the Americana that he portrayed and sadly it was too good to be true.

McGwire admitted to one of the worst kept secrets in Baseball. He obviously got a lie off of his chest that had been sitting there for 11 years. When the news broke and I found out I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed. Despite knowing that McGwire more then likely did steroids in 1998 and for a good portion of his career, I felt like that period of time in my childhood was all a lie in the end.

He captivated a country and gives young kids like myself at the time a joy in watching the game of Baseball again. In little league when we would hit a homerun we would do the fist pump embrace that McGwire did, we would try to swing the bat with one arm like he did and try to emulate a person in the eyes of my generation at the time, a hero.

It’s sad to know that when we look back at the summer of ’98, McGwire & Sosa, it will be nothing more then a big lie to entire nation and the rest of the world. It should teach a new generation of kids that in the end cheating really never does prosper in our country and true heroes & role models are hard to find these days.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

You can visit The Wheelhouse’s official website where you can download “high quality” shows and see all the latest happenings with the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ” Jeff Peck on twitter by going to www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck or you can follow Wheelhouse Radio! on Twitter by visiting their page @ www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse. You can also e-mail them @ wheelhouseradio@gmail.com

Read Bases Loaded: The Inside Story of the Steroid Era in Baseball by the Central Figure in the Mitchell Report by clicking here.



Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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