Big Mac gets big ovation before Cards' home opener
St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire stands behind a batting cage as he works with Cardinals players during spring training baseball Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Mark McGwire has drawn a standing ovation before the St. Louis Cardinals' home opener, a clear sign the fans have forgiven the former home run king for using steroids.
There was an immediate burst of applause even before the official introduction prior to Monday's game against the Houston Astros. McGwire is the Cardinals' new hitting coach.
McGwire was riding in the back of a dark blue flat bed truck around the warning track in the team's annual procession. He showed up on the jumbo scoreboard just behind manager Tony La Russa and third base coach Jose Oquendo.
Cheers for McGwire dwarfed the response both La Russa and Oquendo received. After bounding out of the truck he shook hands with Stan Musial.
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