JUPITER, Fla. • Former Cardinals center fielder and beloved No. 51 Willie McGee has been hired by the organization as a special assistant to the general manager, a move that makes McGee an official member of the organization with duties that will involve instructing in the minors.
McGee, 54, spent several weeks this spring with the club as an instructor, coming to camp at the invitation of manager Mike Matheny.
In the release announcing his hiring, the Cardinals state that he will "focus his attention on the minor leagues."
"Willie has a wealth of experience in the game and he is eager to pass on his observations and teachings," general manager John Mozeliak stated in the announcement.
McGee spent 18 years in the majors, including two stints with the Cardinals, from 1982-90 and again from 1996-99. He hit .295 overall with 79 home runs and 352 stolen bases. He wont the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1985 while also winning the batting title, at.353. McGee won another batting title in 1990 with a .335 average despite finishing the year in the American League.