TBT: Mark McGwire blasted his 62nd home run on Sept. 8, 1998
The ball jumped off the bat and Busch Stadium exploded.
Mark McGwire connected on a fastball from Chicago Cubs starter Steve Trachsel and sent a missile over the left field wall for his 62nd home run, surpassing Roger Maris' single-season record at the time.
All of a sudden, the dream of witnessing a larger-than-life athlete rewrite history in such an exciting manner was a reality. The baseball world spent every night of the summer wondering if McGwire and/or Sammy Sosa would go yard and creep closer toward eclipsing a record many thought would stand forever. Then it actually happened.
Can you believe that was 18 years ago today?
Fans anxiously stood on their feet as Mac stepped to the plate. He always stared with the utmost focus out at the pitcher, sometimes exaggerating a blink or two. Then he was locked and loaded. Wow, was this one of the most terrifying things to see on a field back then.
Trachsel dealt ...
Boom. Everybody knew it right away. A line-drive cleared the wall and fans went nuts. All you saw were arms in the air.
McGwire was so excited that he actually missed first base. People forget that part. Coach David McKay pulled him back to ensure the umps saw he touched it and then he continued a joyous jog interrupted by high fives, hand shakes and good sportsmanship.
When he finally reached home plate, his son was waiting for him. Cool moment.
Then Sosa came in to offer his support.
The best part of the night, though, was when McGwire sought out the Maris family in the stands and embraced them.
If you want to watch the 62nd home run and the bedlam that followed, here you go:
What a night -- and it's crazy to think how messy things got years after 1998, the summer when baseballs flew and fans couldn't get enough.