JUPITER, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals announced Wednesday that former outfielder Willie McGee is joining the team as a special assistant to General Manager John Mozeliak.
McGee, 54, will focus his attention on the minor leagues. He was in spring training in February as a special instructor.
"We are pleased to announce Willie's return to the Cardinals organization," said Mozeliak said in a statement released by the team. "Willie has a wealth of experience in the game and he is eager to pass on his observations and teachings."
McGee spent 18 years in the major leagues with the Cardinals (1982-90 and 1996-99), Oakland (1990), San Francisco (1991-94) and Boston (1995).
The switch-hitting outfielder batted .295 with 79 home runs, 856 RBIs and 352 stolen bases in 2,201 career games. McGee ranks among the Cardinals' top 10 in games (1,661), triples (83), stolen bases (301) and pinch-hits (59).
Wearing his familiar No. 51, McGee first drew acclaim during the Cardinals' 1982 World Championship season.
He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1985 with a league-leading .353 average, helping the Cardinals to the National League Championship.
McGee's .353 average in 1985 still stands as the best ever by a Cardinals switch-hitter, as do his 216 hits that season.
McGee had 17 game-winning RBIs in 1985, also top among Cardinals switch-hitters.
McGee also led the NL in hitting in 1990 with a .335 average, although he was traded to Oakland in late August.
He made four All-Star teams (1983, 1985, 1987, 1988) and earned three Rawlings Gold Glove awards (1983, 1985, 1986).
McGee was dealt to the Cardinals from the New York Yankees in October 1981 for pitcher Bob Sykes in what is regarded as one of the team's best all-time trades.