Monday, January 10, 2011

Dominican Baseball Cards #16, #17, #18: Sammy Sosa

This installment of Dominican Baseball Cards features one of the most famous Dominican baseball players: Sammy Sosa.  And since the Dominican Baseball Guy missed the last two baseball card updates, the Dominican Baseball Guy has three cards today.  There is a Score 1990 #558, a Score 1992 #258, and an Upper Deck 1990 #17.  All three come from Sammy as a Chicago White Sock.  A lot of people probably forget he started his career with the Rangers and then got traded to the White Sox for Harold Baines and others before he made his way to the Cubs.
Dominican Sammy Sosa featured in three baseball cards
Sosa became one of the most famous Dominican ballplayers after his race to break Roger Maris's single season home run record with Mark McGwire in 1998.  Sammy lost out that year and ended the year in second place with 66 home runs, which is still the 3rd best mark for home runs in a season ever.  He also won the NL MVP that year and the Roberto Clemente award.  He has 3 of the top 6 home runs in a season marks, and is 7th on the all time list with 609.  Sosa also had 6 Silver Slugger awards and made 7 all-star games.  Quite a career for a guy that started out as a speedy, good fielding outfielder.

His later career was marred by the corked bat incident, and like many from his generation steroid allegations. He was one of the 104 leaked names from a supposedly private MLB test in 2003.  Whatever the allegations, this guys numbers are certainly Hall of Fame worthy.  We will have to wait and see if he gets in.  The baseball writers that vote on the Hall know more about the ethics of the game than does the Dominican Baseball Guy, so I will trust their judgement in this case.

In recent months Sosa has been in the news, since being accused of whitening his skin, a la Michael Jackson.  The photos are unmistakable, when compared to his early years in MLB.  Sosa was a very popular player in the Dominican Republic during his playing days, as our most successful Dominican MLBers.  The recent whitening scandal, and the perceived idea that he doesn't come to the Dominican Republic much anymore, have made him somewhat of a villain in his home country today.  In any case, he was a great player in his day, and he hails from the center of the best baseball in the world, San Pedro de Macoris.

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