Former single-season home run record holder Mark McGwire became the Los Angeles Dodgers' hitting coach Wednesday after serving the past three years in the same capacity with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 49-year-old McGwire, who became the first player to hit 70 homers in a season while with the Cardinals in 1998 but ultimately had his accomplishments tainted by revelations of steroid use, was named St. Louis' hitting coach by former manager Tony La Russa prior to the 2010 campaign.
Under McGwire's direction, the Cardinals led the National League in batting average (.273) and runs scored (762) during their run to the 2011 World Series title. St. Louis finished second in both categories while reaching the NLCS this past season.
"Mark has been able to translate his success as a big league hitter into his work as hitting coach with the Cardinals," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He earned the respect of both veterans and young players while in St. Louis and the offensive numbers the Cardinals produced under his tutelage speak for themselves. We're excited to have him join our coaching staff and anticipate great things from his work with our hitters in 2013 and beyond."
McGwire turned down the Cardinals' offer of a contract extension to become a member of Don Mattingly's staff in Los Angeles. McGwire and his family reside in Orange County, CA.
The 12-time All Star hit 583 home runs over his 16-year MLB career.