Shane Tritsch is the managing editor of Chicago Magazine. He will be joining us to discuss his article ' Sammy Sosa: Cubs 'Threw Me into the Fire''. The article follows Sosa's fall from grace as a Chicago sports icon.
Born Samuel Sosa Peralta on November 12, 1968, in San Pedro de Marcois, Dominican Republic. Sosa went to the United States in 1986 to play baseball for a minor league team in Florida. In 1992, Sosa went to play for the Chicago Cubs. He took his game to a whole new level in 1998. Sosa was in a race with Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals to beat Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs in a single season. McGwire broke the record first and ended the season with 70 runs while Sosa had a total of 66 runs. That same year Sosa was selected as the National League Most Valuable Player.
Sosa remained a strong hitter for the next six seasons with the Cubs, but he encountered some problems in 2003. He was suspended for several games for using a corked bat in a game that year. His name also came up in an investigation about steroid use, an allegation he has adamantly denied. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2005. The Texas Rangers, Sosa's original team, signed him to a minor league deal worth $500,000 on January 30, 2007. On June 3, 2009, Sosa announced his intention to retire from Major League Baseball. He made the announcement in the Dominican Republic and said that he was calmly looking forward to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame since his statistics were up to par. During his career, he has been selected as a member of the National League All-Star team seven times. Sosa has scored 609 home runs and has a career batting average of .273.