Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Birthday Today - Willie McGee
The Cardinals, of course, have a rich tradition and an even more loyal fan base. The fans love the Cardinals, and particular players capture their fancy in an almost irrational way. You can explain the love they have for Stan Musial, the greatest Cardinal ever. You can explain the love they have for Albert Pujols, who might end up being the greatest player ever, period. You can explain the love (and admiration and fear) they have for Bob Gibson. But it's frankly hard to explain the love Cardinals fans have had over the years for 1980s centerfielder Willie McGee, who helped them to the World Series championship in 1982, won the MVP in 1985 (when he won the NL batting title), and helped them to NL pennants in 1985 and 1987. To me, of course, there's no question that Ozzie Smith was the MVP of all of those great Cardinals teams of the 1980s, but somehow McGee captured the fans' affection. Maybe it was the strange way he walked, which turned into raw speed when he ran. Maybe it was his odd, ET-like face. Whatever it is, he's always been a favorite in St. Louis and probably always will be.
Want to feel old? Willie McGee turns 53 today.