A Tribute to Slammin' Sammy Sosa
Sammy Sosa is one of the most talked about players in baseball. Along with Mark McGwire, Sosa helped save baseball in 1998 when they both passed Roger Maris for most home runs in a season. Sosa hit 66 and Big Mac hit 70.
Slammin' Sammy is the only player to hit 60+ homers in three different seasons. Sosa hit 609 home runs and won an MVP award during his career.
His career did come with some road bumps. Sosa was caught using a corked bat. He walked out on the Cubs at the end of the 2004 season. On top of all this, it is now being reported that he tested positive for steroids in 2003.
Sammy was once loved by all Cub fans. He is now disliked by most.
But I still have all respect for him and he is still my favorite player. I believe that one day, I will go to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and see his plaque.
1st Career Homer: June 21, 1989
Rogere Clemens is another guy that has been accused of steroids.
He is the guy who surrendered Sosa's first home run of his career. It was a solo shot in the 5th inning. The Rangers went on to win that game 10-3.
Sosa at the plate: 2-for-6, two runs, one RBI
100th Career Homer: May 14, 1995
Sosa hit his 100th career home run off one of the best closers in the game.
It was off Trevor Hoffman, who has more saves than any other pitcher. Sosa's home run came in the 9th inning. The Cubs lost the game 9-7.
Sosa at the plate: 3-for-5, two runs, four RBIs.
200th Career Homer: August 24, 1997
Because the Cubs won the game 12-3, Sosa's home run didn't mean much as far as the game went. It was a three-run homer that put the Cubs up 11-3.
Sosa at the plate: 2-for-4, one run, four RBIs
Sammy is one of three players to hit more home runs in a season than Roger Maris' 61. After Sosa hit No. 62, his Cubs teammates carried him off the field. The Cubs won 11-10 in 10 innings.
Sosa at the plate: 2-for-4, three runs, three RBIs
In 1998, Sammy hit 66 home runs. It was one of the most memorable seasons of all time. While Sosa hit 66, McGwire hit 70. It was the season that saved baseball.
The game was on September 25th at the Astrodome. On an 0-1 count, Sosa hit a ball that ball traveled 462 feet. The Cubs went on to lose that game 6-2.
Sosa at the plate: 1-for-4, one run, one RBI
Fun Homer Facts From the 1998 Season
Sammy finished his sensational 1998 season with 66 home runs, 134 runs scored, 198 hits, 158 runs batted in, and an average of .308. Here are some facts about his 66 homers.
Arizona - 5
Atlanta - 3
Cincinnati - 4
Colorado - 3
Florida - 4
Houston - 4
Los Angeles - 1
Milwaukee - 12
Montreal - 3
New York - 2
Philadelphia - 8
Pittsburgh - 2
St. Louis - 3
San Diego - 3
San Francisco - 3
Chicago - 3
Detroit - 2
Minnesota - 1
Pitcher who gave up the most:
3 - Cal Eldred (Milwaukee)
Jose Lima (Houston)
2 - Carlton Loewer (Philadelphia)
Alan Embree (Arizona)
Bret Tomko (Cincinnati)
Bronswell Patrick (Milwaukee)
Meaningful home runs:
Tied the game - 7
Pulled the Cubs within 1 run - 8
First run(s) of the game - 20
Gave the Cubs the lead - 20
Left Field - 10
Left Center - 24
Center Field - 9
Right Center - 17
Right Field - 6
35 home runs were hit at Wrigley, the other 31 were on the road.
3 of them were inside a dome.
34 were night games and 32 were during the day.
54 were hit off of by right-handed pitchers, the other 12 were off of lefties.
18 with one man on base
7 with two men on base
3 grand slams
1st - 12
2nd - 2
3rd - 8
4th - 5
5th - 12
6th - 8
7th - 6
8th - 9
9th - 4
April - 6
May - 7
June - 20
July - 9
August - 13
September - 11
Sunday - 11
Monday - 14
Tuesday - 2
Wednesday - 14
Thursday - 3
Friday - 13
Saturday - 9
300th Career Homer: June 26, 1999.
22 months after Sosa hit #200, he hit #300 off the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a solo shot in the 6th inning. The Cubs went on to lose 6-2. That was just one of 63 home runs that year.
Sosa at the plate: 2-for-4, one run, one RBI
400th Career Homer: May 16, 2001
Sammy hit his 400th home run at Wrigley Field off of Shane Reynolds of the Houston Astros. It was the first run of the game for the Cubs, who lost to Houston 6-2.
Sosa at the plate: 2-for-4, one run, two RBIs
500th Career Homer: April 4, 2003
Sammy hit his 500th career homer at newly opened Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. He hit it off of Scott Sullivan. It was a solo shot that brought the Cubs within one run. The Cubs went on to lose 10-9.
Sosa at the plate: 1-for-4, one run, one RBI
600th Career Homer: June 20, 2007
Sammy hit his 600th homer off of the team that he spent most of his career with. Sosa hit off the pitcher who wore his former No. 21 jersey.
Jason Marquis was the first player to wear No. 21 after Sammy's departure in 2004. The Rangers beat the Cubs 7-3.
Sosa's home run made him the 5th person to hit 600 homers. He is now 6th all-time, trailing Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), and Ken Griffey Jr. (621).
Sosa at the plate: 1-for-4, one run, two RBIs.
From the Man
"Getting my 600th against the Chicago Cubs, and my first team [was] the Texas Rangers. It's like everything clicked. My emotions, I don't know what they are."
Sammy Sosa finished his career with 609 home runs. He collected 2408 hits, 1667 runs batted in, and hit for a career batting average of .273.
Six-time Silver Slugger.
Hank Aaron Award in 1999.
Roberto Clemente Award in 1998.
National League MVP Award in 1998.