The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 20, 2012

Mike Pound: Mark McGwire and other St. Louis Cardinals help build homes in Joplin

I spent most of Sunday afternoon watching the St. Louis Cardinals.

And when I say “most of my Sunday afternoon” I mean all of my Sunday afternoon because the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates decided it would be fun to play for 19 innings. When the game finally ended, and the Cards lost, I remember thinking, “This sucks. And the worst part is I have to get up and go to work tomorrow.”

But the thing is, all I had to do on Monday was get up and drive to Joplin and do what I normally do, which is pretend to work. And let’s be honest, the only energy I expended Sunday while watching the game was when I got off the couch to get a beer. Now granted, it was a 19-inning game, which meant I had to get up off the couch more than I normally do, but I didn’t exactly wear myself out.

Imagine if you were coaching in that 19-inning game, or managing the Cardinals, or if you were the general manager or owner, and not only did you have to work the next day but that work would involve getting on a plane and flying to Joplin to build houses.

It would be like being Todd Akin’s press secretary on Monday, is what I’m thinking.

Funny thing though, Mark McGwire didn’t think being in Joplin the day after coaching 19 innings was awful. Mark thought being in Joplin was great and he laughed off Sunday’s game.

“Hey, it was a day game,” Mark said with a grin. “And the first nine innings only took about two hours. We just decided to go another 10 or so.”

I told Mark that I wasn’t a sports writer and that I didn’t really come to chat with him about baseball. And then I proceeded to chat with him about baseball. I mean, how many chances do you get to talk baseball with Mark McGwire.

After I got the baseball talk out of my system, I asked Mark why in the world he gave up a precious day off to come to Joplin. Basically, Mark said he and the rest of the Cardinals who showed up to work on Habitat For Humanity homes did so because they thought it was the right thing to do.

“I was sitting in Mike’s (Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny) office when John (Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak) came in and said, ‘I’ve got something I would like you to do,’ and when he told us we both agreed right away,” he said.

The Cardinals have done a lot for Joplin since the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Reaching out to others has long been a club tradition. In advance of today’s trip the Cardinals announced they were donating $200,000 to four area charities and they also are supporting the construction of five Habitat for Humanity homes as part of the Governor’s Joplin Challenge.

McGwire said seeing the devastation after the storm from afar was bad enough but visiting Joplin, even more than a year after the tornado, and meeting people impacted by the storm was “eye popping”.

As we chatted several people stopped by to have him sign a photo or a jersey or to pose for a picture.  Each person as they walked away thanked Mark for coming to Joplin and you could tell they really meant it.

“No,” Mark said each time. “Thank you.”

You could tell he really he meant it.


Text Only
Local News
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe cited for recycling efforts

    Leaders of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe will receive an award Friday from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality for their participation in an areawide recycling event in May that secured more than 9,000 pounds of electronic equipment waste.

    July 9, 2014

  • Pittsburg Police Dept. gives Cherokee County Sheriff’s Dept. two patrol cars

    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, which is feeling a budget pinch related to personnel costs for manning the impact zone of the Baxter Springs tornado, is getting some help from a neighboring police department.

    July 9, 2014

  • Mike Pound: The teenage version of the Terrible Twos

    I’ve been called outside three times by our 16-year-old daughter since I sat down to write a column.

    July 9, 2014

  • Webb City lawmaker tabbed to lead committee examining impact of military on Missouri

    State Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, has been selected to lead a committee that will gauge the U.S. military’s impact on Missouri. Davis said he wants to hear from veterans about their problems with the Veterans Health Administration as well as examine the impact of the military in the state as it steps back from a war footing and downsizes.

    July 9, 2014

  • r070914amendone2.jpg State farming amendment draws support, opposition

    Since the 1940s, the family of state Rep. Bill Reiboldt has owned and operated a farm on the outskirts of Neosho. Before he sold his milk cows, Reiboldt had eight people working on the farm. These days, it is just he and his son. Wednesday — with mild morning temperatures following the previous day’s rain — was the kind of day farmers like Reiboldt look forward to.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Damaged Football.jpg Public art piece in Pittsburg vandalized

    Leslie Harris spent countless hours painting a butterfly and sunset on a fiberglass football that is one of 24 displayed in Pittsburg and Crawford County as part of the SEK Art Fest.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • JRC extends sale date on Coca-Cola property

    The Joplin Redevelopment Corp. on Tuesday approved an Aug. 8 sale date for property in the 1300 block of Virginia Avenue and included with the extension an amended agreement aimed at adding protections for Joplin in the pact with Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the city’s tornado recovery master developer.

    July 8, 2014

  • Inmates bound over in jail sexual assault case

    A judge ordered two Newton County Jail inmates bound over for trial Tuesday on charges that they sexually assaulted a third inmate with a shampoo bottle and a tube of toothpaste.

    July 8, 2014

  • Defendant to be tried on charge of pulling knife on ER doctor

    A defendant accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor when she refused to prescribe him narcotics was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court.

    July 8, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Crosslines at crossroads in current home

    The parking lot at Crosslines Churches of the Joplin Area, 131 S. High Ave., was almost full when I pulled in Tuesday morning. I found a spot in the back of the lot and met Harry Greninger near a side door. He led me through the kitchen, then into the main part of the building and finally into Kathy Lewis’ office.

    July 8, 2014

Must Read


Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that sought to increase the tax credits available for donations to organizations providing food to the poor and aid to pregnant women, saying it would have eroded government funds needed for education and other services. Do you agree with the veto?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter