After years as a respected power hitter, Sammy Sosa emerged during the 1998 season as one of baseball's greats. It was in this season that both Sosa and Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' long-standing single season home run record of 61. Sosa ended the season with 66, behind McGwire's 70. The following season Sosa hit 63, again trailing Mark McGwire who hit 65. Sosa, already a home run legend, finally claimed his first home rune championship by hitting 50 in the 2000 season.
In 2001, he hit 64 home runs, becoming the first player ever with three 60 home run seasons. In the same season he set personal records in runs scored (146), RBIs (160), walks (116), on base percentage (.437), slugging percentage (.737), and batting average (.328). He led the Majors in runs and RBIs, was 2nd in home runs, 2nd in slugging percentage, 3rd in walks, 4th in on base percentage, 12th in batting average, and 15th in hits.
Sosa was born November 12, 1968 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, where he grew up in an abandoned hospital. He originally signed with the Philadelphia Phillies at age 15, but this deal we not allowed by the League because of Sosa's age. He signed with the Texas Rangers in 1985.
Sosa began his Major League career in 1989 with the Rangers. After being sent again to the minors, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. After nearly two years with the White Sox, he was again sent down to the minors midseason 1991. Recalled late in the season, he failed to impress the White Sox management, who dealt him away to the Chicago Cubs just prior to the 1992 season. It was there that Sosa spent his glory years.
Known as a free-swinger in his early years, and as an easy strike-out candidate, Sosa has become an effective hitter for average. He owns numerous team records for the Cubs, and holds the record for the most home runs hit in a month (20, in June 1998).