In terms of career WAR at least. Both of have career WARs of 70.8 and I can’t say I wasn’t surprised. I’m only a teenager and not the greatest baseball history buff so when I looked at their career WARs I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We all know McGwire was good, he may have had some extra help but that’s besides the point.
In 17 years Torre put together some pretty impressive numbers. He had a career .155 ISO which is slightly above league average, he finished with 252 career home runs. He also had an above league average .365 OBP and a .363 wOBA. Torre also had a good eye at the plate, walking 8.9% of the time and striking out only 12.4% of the time. He did a good job at creating runs, posting a 129 wRC+. Since wRAA can fluctuate year to year there isn’t an average calculated for players but over his career Torre had 344.9 total wRAA. His BABIP was .318, a number that can be stable depending on park factors. From 1963 to 1971 Torre had the best years of his career posting 51.3 WAR. That averages out to 5.7 WAR per season. Not too bad if you ask me. Fangraphs doesn’t have UZR data for that time so based on fielding percentage he was .990 as a catcher, not bad.
Mark McGwire was a power hitter in every sense of the word. His ISO was .325 for his career, an absurd number. He had a crazy .394 OBP to go with a .415 wOBA. Every pitcher and their mothers feared Big Mac, he walked in 17.2% of his at bats. He struck out in only 20.8% of them. His career .255 BABIP shows he may have been pretty unlucky in his career but he still had monster numbers. His career wRC+ was 158 and he acclimated 562.5 wRAA. Both ridiculous numbers. On defense he was an exceptional first basemen posting a .993 fielding percentage. The jury is still out about his drug use but it’s pretty obvious what he did if you just look at his career numbers and his body during the tail end of his career.
Still, I would have never guessed that Joe Torre and Mark McGwire would have been identical in WAR. For the visual reader here’s a WAR graph.