OXFORD, Ohio (AP) - Mark McGwire is the winner of the 1999 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, presented to the major leaguer who best exemplifies the giving character of the late New York Yankees' Hall of Famer.
While McGwire is known for his exploits on the field, including a record 70 home runs in the 1998 season, his philanthropic accomplishments also have been exemplary.
After signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997, McGwire said he would donate $1 million each year to the Mark McGwire Foundation for Children, a private organization that provides financial support to child abuse programs in Southern California and the St. Louis area.
Last year, McGwire joined with a coffee company foundation to promote literacy through ``Out of the Park-Into the Books.'' The joint venture provided a $5,000 donation to a children's literacy charity for each home run McGwire hit, which totaled $325,000 last year.
The award is presented annually by Phi Delta Theta. Gehrig was a member of the fraternity's Columbia University chapter.
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