TheBaseballPage.com

Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa

Position(s):
CF, LF, OF, RF, DH
Nicknames:
Slammin' Sammy, Say it Ain't Sosa
Born:
November 12, 1968
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
165 lbs
Major League Debut:
6-16-1989 with TEX
Allstar Selections:
1995 SS, 1998 ML, 1998 MVP, 1998 RC, 1998 SS, 1999 Hank A, 1999 SS, 2000 SS, 2001 SS, 2002 SS

Unform Number

#17 (1989 Rangers), #25 (1989-1991 White Sox), #21 (1992-present Cubs)

Best Season

He eclipsed his overall performance of 1998, hitting .328 with a .737 slugging percentage, .437 OBP, 64 homers, 160 RBI, 146 runs scored, and 116 walks. On August 9, August 22 and September 23, he hit three homers in a single game.

Factoid 1

Sammy Sosa hit his first major league homer on June 21, 1989, off Boston's Roger Clemens.

Factoid 2

Sammy Sosa is the only player in history to hit 60 home runs in three different season. However, he did not win the home run title in any of those years.

Transition

Signed as a non-drafted free agent by Texas Rangers (July 30, 1985); Traded by Texas Rangers with Scott Fletcher and Wilson Alvarez to Chicago White Sox in exchange for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique (July 29, 1989); Traded by Chicago White Sox with Ken Patterson to Chicago Cubs in exchange for George Bell (March 30, 1992).

Strengths

Power

Weaknesses

Plate discipline. Entering 2003, Sosa was averaging less than 48 non-intentional walks per 600 plate appearances.

Milestones

Hit his 500th home run on April 4, 2003, against the Cincinnati Reds. He became the first Latin American player to reach the milestone.

Feats

Only player to collect 50 or more homers in four straight season. Sosa belted 66 in 1998, 63 in 1999, 50 in 2000, and 64 in 2001... Eight straight 100-RBI seasons (1995-2002)... Sosa was the first Cub to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season (1993 and 1995)... Has hit three homers in a game six times.

The Home Run Chase of 1998

The chase was hardly a chase at all as late as May. On May 24, 1998, Mark McGwire had 24 home runs, while Sammy Sosa was at nine. But soon, Sammy made his move and the race was on. From May 25-June 23, Sosa belted 21 home runs in 30 days. He set a record with 20 home runs in June, which was also the most homers ever hit in any month. It became clear that both McGwire and Sosa were drawing a bead on roger Maris's single-season home run record. The question was: who would get there first? On August 19, Sosa hit his 48th home run and passed McGwire for the first time. But later in that game, McGwire answered with a pair of homers and reclaimed the lead. "Big Mac" would stay relinquish the lead just once more. Over Labor Day weekend the Cardinals and Cubs played each other in St. Louis and the media circus surrounding the home run chase collided in one location. The two sluggers embraced the publicity, helping put baseball back on the front pages and in the news. On September 8, McGwire finally passed Maris, lining a shot over the left field wall at Busch Stadium. Sosa watched from right field and applauded. McGwire made an emotional trip around the bases, pointing to the sky as he crossed home plate to honor Maris, whose sons were in attendance. Soon, Sosa arrived and hugged McGwire, who lifted Sammy off his feet. Baseball had a golden moment. But three weeks still remained in the season and the chase was still far from over. Five days later, Sosa hit two home runs in Wrigley Field to tie McGwire at 62. Adding to the tension of the McGwire/Sosa race was the fact that the Cubs were in a fight for a playoff spot. On September 25 in Houston, Sosa hit #66, creeping ahead of McGwire for the final time. McGwire responded by hitting a homer of his own a few innings later in St. Louis to bring the chase to a tie once more. Sosa failed to any more homers, while McGwire belted four in his final two games to finish with an astonishing 70 for the new single-season record. Three years later, Barry Bonds broke McGwire's record, which many thought would last longer than Maris's had. Bonds blasted 73 homers to establish the new standard. One of the players given the best chance to break Bonds record is Sosa, who hit 63 in 1999, 50 in 2000, and 64 in 2001.

Notes

Sosa was second to Barry Bonds in MVP voting in 2001 and has finished in the top ten on four other occasions... Sosa has finished first or second in the NL in homers seven times... Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher to strike out Roger Maris, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa... In 2002, Shawn Green hit 20 home runs in 31 games. Only four players in major league history have hit 20 homers over a shorter span in one season, led by Sammy Sosa's 20 homers in 24 games back in 1998 for the Cubs. Barry Bonds hit 20 in 27 games in 2001 for the Giants; Ralph Kiner hit 20 in 29 games in 1947 for the Pirates; and Reggie Jackson hit 20 in 30 games in 1969 for the A's.

Related Content

This day in baseball history

August 20

  • 1974

    On August 20, 1974, Nolan Ryan fans 19 Tigers in an 11-innin ...

  • 1967

    On August 20, 1967, Kansas City A’s owner Charlie Finley f ...

  • 1964

    On August 20, 1964, New York Yankees infielder Phil Linz bec ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

 
Tagged:
Sammy Sosa

Comments

Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles