Following years of speculation, disgraced former home run champion Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids. The former first baseman, who was often nicknamed "Paul Bunyan" for his broad shoulders and big forearms and the thunderous swing of his stick, drew more than a few raised eyebrows during his career.
From his days as a collegiate player through his final season in 2001, "Big Mac" underwent a physical transformation that was more than just age and hitting the weight room. With his admission of steroid use, we take a look back at McGwire through the years to see just how he changed during his career.
Here is a full body shot of McGwire from 1984, his junior season at USC. McGwire switched to first base full time that season and was drafted by Oakland Athletics in the first round that spring.
Here is McGwire in 1985. The top pick from 1984 spent the season with the Modesto Athletics.
The muscles were big and the legs were comparatively thin, but Big Mac had not yet made his big league debut. His natural strength would make him a long ball king in his rookie season.
McGwire slugged 49 home runs in his rookie season of 1987. The record still stands today.
McGwire was starting to display his titanic strength but still sported a lanky frame and didn't sport the massive bulk we're used to today.
Here is McGwire during his sophomore season of 1988. He already began to take on the lopsided shape that would define his later physique.
A good full body shot of McGwire from 1989. In his admission statement on Monday, McGwire stated 1989 was the first year he dabbled in steroids. That year he hit 33 home runs but hit just .231. The Athletics won the World Series in 1989.
A shot of McGwire from the 1990 World Series alongside notorious bash brother Jose Canseco. McGwire hit 39 home runs in 156 games in 1990. It was Canseco who put McGwire under the microscope with his accusation of McGwire in his tell-all book "Juiced."
McGwire played in only two fewer games in 1991, but he saw his home run total drop drastically. He hit only 22 home runs in 154 games that year and hit a meager .201.
McGwire, seen here with bigger arms than any other year, rebounded to hit 42 home runs in 1992. Canseco hit a career-high 44 home runs in 1991. Could watching his teammate hit so many long balls have influenced McGwire?
On Monday, McGwire copped to using steroids in 1993. That season, foot injuries limited him to only 27 games.
McGwire continued to battle injuries in 1994 and was limited to just 47 games. He hit nine home runs in that time.
McGwire hit only 18 home runs in 74 games combined in 1993 and 1994. However, he returned to his bashing ways when he returned to full strength in 1995. That year, he hit 39 home runs in 104 games.
In 1996, McGwire appeared in 130-plus games for the first time in four years. That year, he hit set a new career high with 52 home runs.
McGwire switched leagues in 1997 when he was traded from Oakland to St. Louis. The change in leagues made no difference in his ability to hit home runs. He hit 34 home runs in 105 games with Oakland and an additional 24 in 51 games with St. Louis. The 58 home runs were the most in a single season since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs.
McGwire admitted to using steroids during his fabled home run chase of 1998. That season he became the first big leaguer to hit 70 home runs. However, even then he could not completely escape controversy. In July, a reporter spotted a known performance enhancer named "androstenedione". The drug raised flags, but nothing would quell America's appreciation of McGwire's chase of Roger Maris.
A new season did not slow down McGwire. In 1999, McGwire eclipsed Maris' old mark once again. This time he hit 65 home runs and set a career high with 147 RBI.
In 2000, McGwire kept up his home run pace when he hit 32 home runs in 89 games. However, a knee injury would slow his productivity and knocked him out for almost the entire second half of the season.
McGwire was still able to keep up his home run pace in his last season. That year he hit 29 home runs in 97 games but was otherwise ineffective. He hit just .187 that season. He retired with 583 home runs, which placed him fifth all-time when he walked away.