JUPITER, Fla. -- One of the most beloved Cardinals of any era is coming back to the organization.
Willie McGee, the 1985 National League Most Valuable Player and a key player on four St. Louis playoff teams, has rejoined the Cardinals as a special assistant to general manager John Mozeliak.
According to a release from the club, McGee "will focus his attention on the Minor Leagues." He has come to Spring Training several times as a special instructor, including in 2013, but this is the first time the relationship has gone any farther than that since McGee retired.
"We are pleased to announce Willie's return to the Cardinals organization," Mozeliak said in the release. "Willie has a wealth of experience in the game and he is eager to pass on his observations and teachings."
McGee, 54, played for the Cardinals from 1982-90 and from 1996-99. He also played for Oakland (1990), San Francisco (1991-94) and Boston ('95). McGee hit .295 with a .333 on-base percentage, .396 slugging percentage, 1,010 runs scored and 352 stolen bases in 2,201 big league games. He still holds a place in numerous Cardinals top-10 lists, including games played (1,661), triples (83), stolen bases (301) and pinch-hits (59).
McGee hit a league-best .353 in '85, an average that still stands as the best by a switch-hitter in Cardinals history. He won three Gold Glove Awards, all in a four-year span with St. Louis from 1983-86.
Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.