It has to be considered a given that the PED question has hurt many players in their quest for Cooperstown. It is very possible that anyone associated with it will fail to get elected and the Hall will be devoid of some of the game’s greatest record setters. Yet, of all the people whose careers got tarnished, we can’t help but wonder if Sammy Sosa took the biggest fall of them all.
Barry Bonds may be the man most synonymous with power in the Steroids Era, but it was Sammy Sosa who was the period’s most consistent Home Run Threat. “Slammin” Sammy belted 50 plus homers in four straight seasons and had nine consecutive 100 RBI campaigns. He was popular with the fans and the media, and seemingly never saw a camera he couldn’t smile into.
Things changed drastically upon the Steroids Trial. “Slammin” became “Surly”, and he forgot the English language when questioned by Congress. As fans poured through the inflated statistics, they would notice that unlike Bonds, McGwire and Clemens, Sosa did not have the same amount and quality of productive seasons prior to allegedly taking PEDs. Sosa became instantly unlikable, and the once media darling, became one of its many pariahs.
Like other entries, should Major League Baseball classify the late 90’s/early 00’s as an “era”, Sammy Sosa would have a legitimate shot, as he was one of the game’s top offensive producers. Somehow, we don’t think that will happen, and if it does Sosa will still struggle to gain Hall of Fame admittance.
The Bullet Points: Country of Origin: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Eligible Since: 2012
Played for: Texas Rangers Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs Baltimore Orioles
Major Accolades and Awards: NL MVP (1) (1998) 7 Time All Star (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2004) Silver Slugger (6) (NL) (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002) Most Runs Scored (3) (NL) (1998, 2001 & 2002) Most Total Bases (3) (NL) (1998, 1999 & 2001) Most Home Runs (2) (NL) (2000 & 2002) Most Runs Batted In (2) (NL) (1998 & 2001)
Other Points of Note: Other Top Ten MVP Finishes: (Won the 1998 NL MVP) (NL: 1995, 8th), (NL: 1999, 9th), (NL: 2000, 9th), (NL: 2001, 2nd),(NL: 2002, 9th), & (NL: 2003, 8th) 1 Top Ten Finish (Batting Average) 1 Top Ten Finish (On Base Percentage) 7 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage) 4 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored) 3 Top Ten Finishes (Most Hits) 9 Top Ten Finishes (Total Bases) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Triples 11 Top Ten Finishes (Home Runs) 7 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In) 2 Top Ten Finish (Walks) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Stolen Bases) 3 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players) 5 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
Notable All Time Rankings: 7. Home Runs: 609 27. Runs Batted In: 1,667 33. Total Bases: 4,704 42. Slugging Percentage: .534 78. At Bats: 8,813 93. Games Played: 2,354
Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: N/A Should Be Inducted As A: Chicago Cub