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Baseball: Home run history for McGwire

MARK McGWIRE became the first National League player in 49 years to hit 54 home runs in a season when he sent a pitch from Justin Speier over the centre-field wall in the eighth inning of the St Louis Cardinals' 7-6 home defeat by the Floria Marlins on Wednesday night.

McGwire, who hit a combined 58 homers last year for the American League's Oakland Athletics and the Cardinals, joins Babe Ruth as the only players in history with at least two 54-homer seasons. Ruth had four for the New York Yankees in the 1920s.

Two ahead of the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa for the major-league homer- hitting lead, McGwire is on course to break the record of 61 hit by Roger Maris of the Yankees in 1961.