Report: Mark McGwire to retire

Nov. 11, 2001 at 11:54 PM

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Mark McGwire, whose prodigious power captivated a generation, reportedly has retired.

ESPN reported Sunday that the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman will not return next season. He walks away from a two-year, $30 million contract extension and leaves after a season in which he batted just .187 with 29 homers in 299 at bats.

"After a considerable discussion with those close to me, I have decided not to sign the extension, as I am unable to perform at a level equal to the salary the organization would be paying me," McGwire said.

"I believe I owe it to the Cardinals and the fans of St. Louis to step aside, so a talented free agent can be brought in as the final piece of what I expect can be a world championship-caliber team."

McGwire established a major-league record for homers in a season with 70 two years ago. That record was eclipsed by the 73 produced by Barry Bonds this year.

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