Sammy Sosa, right fielder, Texas Rangers, born 11-12-1968 in San Pedro de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic. Formerly played for the Texas Rangers (as of 2007 he's in his second tour of duty with the Rangers), Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. Acquired from the White Sox by the Cubs in a trade for George Bell in the 1991-1992 offseason, then was traded in 2004 to Baltimore for a few no-names.

George W. Bush claimed in the 2000 presidential campaign that the biggest mistake he ever made was parting with Sosa, when Bush was the owner of the Texas Rangers. It's certainly proven to be the one with the highest cost. Through the 1992 season, Sosa was a skinny, speedy outfielder who couldn't quite play center field, had no plate discipline, and had no home run power. In 1993, Sosa had a power spike, launching a then-career high 33 home runs, and hitting 25 doubles. He continued to show modest power for the next four years, with remarkable consistency in his power numbers and his on-base percentage, which hovered around .310. He was an analyst's nightmare--a player who has tremendous athletic ability and good raw power, but who doesn't get on base sufficiently to help his team when he's playing right field. Many people, analysts and traditional reporters alike, thought that the Tribune Corporation was being exceptionally generous to Sosa when they offered him a four-year contract extension following his 1996 campaign, and his continuing offensive mediocrity in 1997 made those rumblings louder.

Over the course of 1997, the Cubs' hitting coach Jeff Pentland attempted to get Sosa to become more patient at the plate. Sosa was initally resistant to Pentland's efforts, but sometime during the 1997 offseason, something apparently clicked. He put up a career-high 73 walks in the 1998 season, and not coincidentally, his increased patience led to an improvement in his power, with 66 home runs. Pentland and Sosa have discussed Sosa's hitting renaissance in numerous interviews, and they consistently mention that Sosa learned to drive pitches to the opposite field when pitchers threw outside to him. In 1998, Sosa's home runs were evenly spread throughout the park. Since then, he has tended to pull the ball more, but he has maintained his selectiveness at the plate, with an increase in his walk rate and walk total in each season from 1998 to 2001. He hit over 50 home runs in each year from 1997 to 2001, despite the fact that Wrigley Field is becoming a pitcher's park. His lowest slugging percentage during the last four years is 80 points higher than his highest previous mark. Sosa, at present, is the best example in baseball of what plate discipline can do for a hitter with all of the other necessary tools to become a star.

Sosa was traded by the Cubs to the Orioles prior to the 2005 season, and spent a miserable year in Baltimore. After that season ended, no team wanted him, so he sat out the 2006 season. In 2007, the Rangers were willing to take a chance on him and invited him to spring training. Rangers management expects that he'll make the team.

Sammy Sosa was born November 12, 1968. His full name is Samuel Peralta Sosa. He was born in San Pedra De Marcoris, Dominican Republic. He stands at 6'0" tall and weighs 220 pounds. Sammy was born in a small pink house. Another family now owns it. Down the road is where his grandmother still lives. She is now 87 years old.

Sammy Sosa was the fifth born of seven children. His mother, Lucrecia, had to raise his family by herself since his father, Inez, died when Sammy was seven. Now Sammy is married and has a son named Michael.

The kids in Sammy's family had to do many jobs to get money and food. He shined shoes, sold oranges, and washed cars. He would do anything to help his family. The house they lived in was a small, two-roomed apartment in a very poor neighborhood. Many times Sammy would have to sleep on the floor because there was no room on the bed for him.

When they were not doing chores they were playing baseball. They played in the streets. They did not have money to buy equipment. Sammy cut a milk carton in half for a glove. The kids would wrap tape around a rolled up sock for a baseball and use a stick for a bat.

Sammy is now a legend and idol of many people in the Dominican Republic. When he arrived there a few years ago, Sosa's foundation raised $700,000 for his country and helped several other Latin American countries with food and money through their moments of crisis. He also has a direct line with many high-ranking government officials like former President Bill Clinton and wife, New York State Senator Hillary Clinton.

Sosa used to be very skinny. When the Texas Rangers discovered him in the early 80s it was one of the descriptive terms listed on Sosa's scouting report. To date Sammy has played the longest with the Chicago Cubs totaling more years with them than all of his other teams combined. He also has played the best with them. Almost immediately after the Cubs acquired him he started blasting home runs. The Rangers manager said his biggest mistake he ever made was trading Sammy Sosa.

Perhaps one of Sosa's best seasons to date was in 1998 when he recorded records in Major League Baseball history. He hit, by far, the most home runs of any Latin American ever. He led the league with 158 RBIs. He his 66 home runs and batted a .308 average. After that season he was named the National League's MVP even though Mark McGwire had hit four more home runs than Sosa. This launched Sosa to instant superstardom all over the world. He had come a long way from a big struggle in his life.

In 1999, after incredible spring training, Sosa was determined to duplicate his exciting and momentous 1998 season. In 1999, he started slamming home runs again. This time Sammy was not chasing McGwire; it was the other way around throughout the whole year.

On September 18, 1999, Sammy Sosa made history again by becoming the only player to hit 60 home runs in two different seasons. Sammy thinks his 1999 season is more special than his 1998 season. He is extremely proud of his new record. His historic home run came on a 2-2 pitch in the sixth inning. The hit just went over the center field wall.

During the 2000 season, Sammy Sosa definitely proved his spot as one of the top sluggers in baseball history. He has now joined the ranks of the all time greatest players. Sosa hit 50 homers for the third straight season. This fear has only been accomplished by Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire. The 50 home runs Sosa hit in 2000 was also good enough to lead the MLB winning Sosa his first home run crown.

Overall Sammy Sosa's stats are amazing. He is the only player to ever have three seasons that hit more than 60 home runs. In 1993 he had the most stolen bases at 36. In 1990 he had 10 third bases, 38 second bases in 2000, and batted a .328 with 160 RBIs in 2001.

Sammy Sosa's hero as a kid was Roberto Clemente who was the first Latino to enter the Hall of Fame. Sosa wears 21 on his jersey in honor of him. Sosa will one day join Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Toney Perez, and other great Latino baseball players in the Hall of Fame.

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