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Sammy Sosa        

Former Professional Baseball Player, Businessman and Entrepreneur

Samuel Peralta "Sammy" Sosa (born November 12, 1968) is a retired Major League Baseball right fielder.

Sosa's Major League career began with the Texas Rangers in 1989. After a stint with the Chicago White Sox, Sosa became a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1992 and subsequently became one of the league's best hitters. In 1998, Sosa and Mark McGwire achieved national fame for their home run-hitting prowess in pursuit of Roger Maris' home run record. Although a fan favorite, Sosa fell out of favor in Chicago after he was caught using a corked bat in a 2003 game and later left the team during the final game of the 2004 season. Sosa finished his career with brief stints with the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers, Sosa hit his 600th career home run to become the fifth player in MLB history to reach the milestone. He is also the all-time home run leader among foreign-born MLB players. Furthermore, Sosa is one of only two National League Players to ever reach 160 RBI, a milestone he reached in 2001. The other was Cubs player and RBI Champion Hack Wilson during his record setting 1930 season in which he hit 191 RBI. Sosa is the only player to have hit 60 or more home runs in a single season three times.

Sosa has long been the subject of speculation about suspected anabolic steroid use during his playing career. On June 16, 2009, The New York Times reported that Sosa had failed a test for performance enhancing drugs in 2003.

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Sosa is known to family and friends as "Mikey." His maternal grandmother, who had suggested his birth name of Samuel, also came up with his nickname: " heard the name on a soap opera she liked and decided from that moment on he would be Mikey."

Sosa was born in the Dominican Republic. Although his officially registered birthplace is San Pedro de Macorís, Sosa was actually born in Consuelo. San Pedro de Macorís was "the largest town nearby." Both Consuelo and San Pedro de Macorís are in San Pedro de Macorís Province. Sosa is married to Sonia Sosa.

Sammy Sosa was the source of attention in late 2009 when he appeared publicly with skin that had been lightened. Sosa claims that the cause of this is a skin cream he has been using.

Sosa made his major league debut on June 16, 1989, with the Texas Rangers, and he hit first career home run off Roger Clemens. Later in the season, the Rangers traded Sammy to the Chicago White Sox. He played two full seasons for the White Sox and was traded, along with pitcher Ken Patterson, to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder George Bell before the 1992 season.

After years as a respected power/speed threat with a rocket arm in right field, he emerged during the 1998 as one of baseball's greatest. It was in this season that both Sosa and Mark McGwire were involved in the "home run record chase", when both players' prowess for hitting home runs drew national attention as they attempted to pass Roger Maris's single season home run mark of 61 home runs that had stood since 1961. Sosa ended the season with 66 (still a team record), behind McGwire's 70. However, Sammy had become the first Major League batter ever to hit 65 homers in a season. Then, McGwire passed him late in the season to become the first ever to hit 70. It was during that season, that Cubs announcer Chip Caray nicknamed him "Slammin' Sammy," a nickname that quickly spread.

Sosa wore the iconic #21 with the Cubs in honor of his childhood idol Roberto Clemente

Also in 1998, Sosa's 416 total bases were the most in a single season since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948. Sosa's performance in the month of June, during which Sosa belted 20 home runs, knocked in 47 runs, and posted an .842 slugging percentage, was one of the greatest offensive outbursts in major league history. Sosa won the National League Most Valuable Player Award for leading the Cubs into the playoffs in 1998, earning every first-place vote except for the two cast by St. Louis writers, who voted for McGwire. He and McGwire shared Sports Illustrated magazine's 1998 "Sportsman of the Year" award. Sosa was honored with a ticker-tape parade in his honor in New York City, and he was invited to be a guest at US President Bill Clinton's 1999 State of the Union Address. 1998 was also the first time the Cubs made the post-season since 1989. The Cubs qualified as the NL Wild Card team, but were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.

In the 1999 season, Sosa hit 63 home runs, again trailing Mark McGwire who hit 65. In the 2000 season, Sammy finally led the league by hitting 50 home runs.

In 2001, he hit 64 home runs, becoming the first player to hit 60 home runs in three seasons in his career. However, he did not lead the league in any of those seasons; in 2001, he finished behind Barry Bonds, who hit 73 homers, breaking the single-season home run record set by McGwire in 1998 (70). In the same season he set personal records in runs scored (146), RBI (160), walks (116), on base percentage (.437), slugging percentage (.737), and batting average (.328). He led the majors in runs and RBI, was 2nd in home runs, 2nd in slugging percentage, 1st in total bases, 3rd in walks, 4th in on base percentage, 12th in batting average, and 15th in hits. He also surpassed his 1998 number in total bases, racking up 425. Sosa once again led the league in home runs with 49 in 2002. Known as a free-swinger in his early years, and as a good strikeout candidate, Sammy became an effective hitter for average. He owns numerous team records for the Cubs, and he holds the major-league record for the most home runs hit in a month (20, in June 1998). In recognition of his accomplishments as a hitter, Sosa won the Silver Slugger award (an award for offensive output, voted on by managers and coaches) in 1995 and in 1998 through 2002.

Sammy Sosa had three 60+ home run seasons with the Cubs ('98, '99, & '01)

In 2003, the Cubs won the National League Central Division title. The year was not all good news for Sosa, however. In May, he spent his first period on the disabled list since 1996 after having an injured toenail removed. On June 3, 2003, Sosa was ejected from a Chicago Cubs-Tampa Bay Devil Rays game in the first inning when umpires discovered he had been using a corked bat. Major League Baseball confiscated and tested 76 of Sosa's other bats after his ejection; all were found to be clean, with no cork. Five bats he had sent to the Hall of Fame in past years were also tested, and were all clean as well. Sosa stated that he had accidentally used the corked bat, which he claimed he only used during batting practice. But they soon interviewed the Cubs' manager, who said that any use of corked bats on his team is strictly prohibited. On June 6, Sosa was suspended for eight games. However, the suspension was reduced to seven games after appeal on June 11. Sosa finished the season with 40 home runs, and he hit two more in the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins, but overall, the Cubs lost the series in seven games. According to the New York Times of June 16, 2009, Sosa had also tested positive for steroids at some point during the season.

In May 2004, Sosa suffered an odd injury while sitting next to his locker chatting with reporters before a game in San Diego's PETCO Park. He sneezed very violently, causing severe back pain. He was diagnosed with back spasms and placed on the disabled list. Later, he fell into one of the worst slumps of his career, only snapping out of it during the last week of the season. He was greatly depressed when the officials told him he couldn't play. He finished with 35 homers, far below his numbers of his best years. The final straw for the Cubs seemed to be an incident in late 2004. Sosa requested to sit out the last game of the season, which was at home against the Atlanta Braves, and he left Wrigley Field early in the game. It was his last time in a Cubs uniform.

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News


Sammy Sosa interview: Baseball's keepers might not forgive him ...

The view must be so delightful from where Sammy Sosa stands. In the hazy distance, does he see signs in the bleachers that read, “Still Lovin Sammy”?

Sammy Sosa buys estate near Miami for $7.6 million - latimes.com

Sammy Sosa, the former major league slugger, has purchased an oceanfront estate in Golden Beach, Fla., for $7.6 million.

Sammy Sosa on Hall of Fame ballot for second straight year | cubs ...

If anything, Sammy Sosa is patient. After the slugger was denied entrance to baseball's Hall of Fame in January, the first time he was on the ballot, Sosa issued a ...

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