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Fit to be tied: McGwire's 61st homer passes Ruth, ties Mans
ST. LOUIS (AP) - No. 61 flew off
Mark McGwire's bat yesterday,
matching Roger Maris' home run
record, and left just one question: How
soon will it be his alone?
V History came quickly. McGwire
launched Mike Morgan's pitch 430
feet to left field in the first inning,
tying the hallowed mark that has stood
for 37 years.
McGwire immediately threw his
hands in the air after connecting and
then, with a fist thrust high, began his
triumphant trip around the bases.
Big Mac got a high five from Cubs
4rst baseman Mark Grace as he
unded the bag and got another high
five from former St. Louis teammate
Gary Gaetti as he approached third.
The 50,530 roaring fans at Busch
Stadium stood all the while, except for
those in the midst of a wild scramble
for the ball. Chicago's Sammy Sosa,
whose 58 home runs have pushed
McGwire down the stretch, joined the
celebration by applauding his rival
from right field.
McGwire's 10-year-old batboy son,
Matt, was waiting at home plate where
the Cardinals slugger ended his trek
with a two-footed hop. McGwire
hoisted his boy in a big hug, while
groundskeepers rushed onto the field
to replace the bases - no doubt head-
ed to the Hall of Fame.
The Cardinals spilled out of the
dugout to mob McGwire and it took
him a few moments to make it to the
bench. But he didn't stay there long,
springing back out to salute Sosa and
the Maris family, watching from seats
on the first-base side.
In a touching tribute to the man he
matched, McGwire acknowledged
Maris' children by pointing his right
index finger to the sky, tapping his
heart three times and blowing a kiss.
"He tapped his heart, like dad was
in his heart," said Kevin Maris, son of
the former New York Yankees slugger.
McGwire homered in the Cardinals'
144th game and now has 19 games left
to become the home run champion.
And when he does, certainly no aster-
isk will be needed.
Maris hit No. 61 on the last day of a
162-game schedule in 1961. Toward
the end of that season, Commissioner
Ford Frick declared that any record
would have to carry a "distinctive
mark" if it did not beat Babe Ruth's
mark of 60 in 154 games.
In all, McGwire has homered 15
times in the last 20 days. This latest
one came at 2:22 p.m. EDT, with
much of America surely tuning in to
ESPN to watch the chase at-bat by at-
McGwire finished 2-for-4 in adding
a later ground single - he has 53 sin-
gles this season, compared to 61
homers - while Sosa went 1-for-5
with a single. Sosa struck out with a
runner on the third to end the game.
The landmark shot provided a nice
present to McGwire's father, John. He
was sitting in the stands celebrating
his birthday - No. 61, naturally.
It also made it a nice day for Mike
Davidson, a 28-year-old fan from St.
Louis who wound up with historic
souvenir, which he planned to give to
The Cardinals won 3-2, blunting the
Cubs' bid to increase their lead in the
NL wild-card race. Fittingly, all but
one of the runs scored on homers,
with Eli Marrero and Delino
DeShields connecting for the
Cardinals and Gaetti doing it for
See 61, Page 20A
St. Louis' Mark
the bases after
his 61st home
run of the sea-
tied Roger Marls'
record with a
blast In his first
Diy Sports Writer
Friday afternoon, Athletic director
Tom Goss announced that assistant
Wrestling coach Joe McFarland, The
1985 graduate of Michigan will take
over for current coach Dale Bahr,
now in his final year as head coach.
McFarland had been identified as a
leading candidate as early as July
th and the official posting for the
b stated that an internal candidate
Of the two internal candidates,
McFarland had considerably more
experience than the other assistant
coach, Kirk Trost.
"It's good when
you have depth
within your pro-
gram, and it's
good when you
Goss said in a
was not available
dan for comment.
Bahr is leaving
the wrestling pro-
gram to take an administrative job in
the athletic department, otierseeing
e summer sports camps.
Bradley-Doppes said in July that
McFarland's head coaching experi-
ence "makes a huge difference." As
the head of the Indiana program, he
led the Hoosiers to a perfect 14-0
record in his first. season, 1989-90.
McFarland also won the assistant
coach of the year award from the
National Wrestling Coaches
Association in 1994.
"Joe has that energy and enthusi-
asm," Bahr said, "he's good at selling
Michigan," to recruits. To coach
wrestling "you really get down and
wrestle with the kids."
"I think it'll be a nice transition,"
Bahr said that one of the reasons he
was able to convince McFarland, who
was a four-time All-American at
Michigan, to leave his head coaching
job at Indiana was the possibility of
qsuming Bahr's job at a later date.
"Joe McFarland has been a dedi-
cated Michigan man who returned
from Indiana University with the ulti-
mate goal of becoming Michigan's
coach," Goss said in a released state-
McFarland was a four-time All-
American at Michigan and wrestled
under Bahr and alongside current
ssistant coach Kirk Trost.
He "understands the Michigan tra-
dition," Bradley-Doppes said. "He
understands the athletic and academ-
"He's a world-class coach."
McFarland, was supervising
Michigan wrestler Jeff Reese when
Reese collansed and died last Dec.
last year to last
just a lift/e longer
OTRE DAME - Fresh off his first college game,
Justin Fargas emerged from the losing lockerroom
beneath Notre Dame Stadium to an oncoming thunder-
ous herd of Irish faithful.
The deafening noise of the 8,000 homogeneous students -
chanting "Let's go Irish!" in unison after Notre Dame's 36-20
victory - kept swaying the freshman's attention from his con-
versation. But in the spectrum of worst day of 1998 for the
Michigan football team, the roar was but a minor distraction.
The downhill spiral of an evil second half of football was
the primary concern. But for Fargas, Michigan's freshman tail-
back, the loss is all he knows as a collegian.
Majority rule, though, remains in effect on this Michigan
team, and the bulk of these football players know the pinnacle
and the thrill of victory.
In fact, after last season's undefeated national champi-
onship, they may have forgotten what a loss feels like.
They remember now,
For eight months, the Michigan fami-
ly - as they like to call themselves -
basked in the nation's brightest spot-
light. Parades, trophies and accolades
rained on the heroes from the seeming-
ly boundless sky.
That "high ceiling" re-emerged in its MARK
most literal form early on Saturday, as
the cloud-free sky dominated the north- SNYDER
em Indiana landscape. Mark My
Maybe Michigan misinterpreted the Words
beauty. After all, too many pats on the
back can slant one's focus. Maybe the
Wolverines saw the perfect weather as they saw everything
else - heaven that belonged to them.
Someone forgot to turn the calendar.
All fall, the Wolverines have paid lip service to this being
"a new year" and "last year is in the past," but the complacen-
cy was obvious.
As last season progressed, Michigan football became more
complex. New wrinkles had to be added to keep opponents on
their toes. The media crush doubled, then tripled in a mat-
See SNYDERf Page 15A
Jarious Jackson and the rest of the Notre Dame offense ran away from Michigan in the second half of Saturday's 36-20 loss. Jackson threw two
touchdown passes as Notre Dame erased a 13-6 Michigan lead.
Missed field goals, fumbled kicks disable Wolverines
Daily Sports Editor
NOTRE DAME - It's not a pretty list:
Three missed field goals. Two kick returners
running into each other. One field goal blocked.
One fumbled kickoff return. Punt average of 31.
One long snap that bounced to the punter.
Yeah, it's ugly. But that's exactly how the
Michigan special teams looked last Saturday -
"We didn't kick the ball well at all," Michigan.
coach Lloyd Carr said. "We didn't punt it, we
didn't place kick it, we didn't protect on the field
"Obviously, we've got work to do."
And do they ever. In the first quarter, the
Michigan kicker Kraig Baker missed two field
goals - one from 33 yards and another from
So in the second quarter, Carr turned to Jay
Feely who was primarily handling kickoff duties
before that. Feely drilled a 21-yard field goal for
his first attempt.
His second attempt in the third quarter, how-
uprights later in the third quarter, his 46-yard
attempt fell short.
"If you don't win the kicking game, in most
cases, you're going to get beat," Carr said.
Michigan punter Jason Vinson also had a
rough day. His two punts were 30 and 33 yards
each, much to Carr's chagrin. But Vinson did get
a chance to show off his good hands by scoop-
ing up a snap that bounced in to him.
"I'm going to have to evaluate every guy and
the way he practices," Carr said. "I'd say there's
a good chance we'll make some changes."
The answer in Michigan's kicking problem
may lie in the fact that the kickers are just
mediocre. Going into Saturday's game, Baker
was consistent on field goals less than 40 yards
long, hitting 12 of 15 in his career. But he is 2-4
with anything 40 yards or over, with a 42 yarder
as his career longest.
Feely was 3-4 in career field goals having
walloped a personal-best 51 yarder last season
against Baylor. And with freshman Hayden
Epstein - one of the top kicking prospects
coming out of high school - waiting in the
you consider those are four field goals - you
expect to make at least three. Nine points in the
third half or the third quarter would have made
a huge difference."
The special teams problems weren't limited
to the kicking game. The kick return unit had its
share of problems, as well. One telltale sign is
that three different people played the deep man
on the kickoff return - Anthony Thomas,
Clarence Williams and Justin Fargas. Tate
Schanski fielded one short kick, as well.
Williams, who has handled return duties in
the past, had what seemed to be a long return
early in the third quarter. But as he was hitting
the turf, Williams coughed up the football and
turned it over to the Fighting Irish. The play was
crucial and led to the touchdown that gave the
Irish the lead..
"If you look at any championship team, they
may not have great return teams but they're all
sound," Carr said. "Their coverage teams are
good, they punt the ball well. We're not there
On another occasion, Williams and Schanski