Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire set the summer of 1998 on fire with an epic home-run chase that saw the St. Louis Cardinals slugger eventually break Roger Maris’ record for most dingers in a single season with 70 while the Chicago Cubs outfielder hit 66.
Sosa scored 60+ home runs in his career, and won the National League MVP Award in 1998, even though he was not the league’s top homer scorer.
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It’s what came after that tarnished Sosa’s reputation. Sosa was caught using a corked bat during a 2003 game. Major League Baseball’s He denied ever using steroids, but he was accused of steroid scandal “illegal performance-enhancing drugs” While he played.
Ryne Sandberg spoke briefly about Sosa’s standing with the organization. Sandberg will be honored with a statue outside Wrigley Field during the summer of 2004. The Hall of Fame second baseman told ESPN he supported the organization’s decision not to immortalize Sosa in the same manner.
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“For me, playing the game the right way, with respect, was always what I was taught in the minor leagues,” Sandberg spoke to the outlet. “That was my Hall of Fame speech. I think I said it 28 times. And there was a little problem with the way that Sammy played the game. If that’s a roadblock, that’s a roadblock.”
Sosa was on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for his entry to Cooperstown in 2022 – his 10th and final year on that ballot. 18.5% of the votes went to him. Prospective Hall of Fame inductees must have at least 75% of vote.
Current Hall of Famers could end up voting Sosa in but he’s not eligible for that until 2024.
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Sosa spent 18 years in major league baseball. He had 609 home runs and 1,667 RBI.
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