Recently Sammy Sosa who hails from the Domincan Republic has been in the news about his skin lightening; however, we would like to look back at a time in Sammy Sosa’s life when there was barely enough food to eat. Thanksgiving often reminds us to think about people who are hungry and without. Can and food drives abound. Sosa’s story has a silver lining but millions of others across the country will not share a similar fate.
66 HRs, .308 batting average, and 158 RBIs. Who could ask for more? No one. Sammy Sosa was raised in San Pedro de Mecoris, Dominican Republic. His family was very poor. Sammy’s dad died when he was seven. Sammy sold oranges,washed cars, and shined shoes for money. As a kid, Sammy used a milk carton for a glove, balled-up socks for a baseball, and a big stick for a bat if he wanted to play baseball. At sixteen years old, he tried out for a scout from a Texas Rangers. The scout loved his power! He gave Sammy a $3,500 bonus, so he could sign a pro contract. He gave all the money to his mom. Well, not all the money! He used his share to buy his first bicycle.
His skills were raw during his first pro season in 1986. He was traded twice before he became a star with the Cubs in 1993. Sammy hit 33 HRs and drove in 93 runs. Now, almost everything has changed. Mark Grace, the first baseman says,”Sammy isn’t just a great hitter, he always plays with a smile. He’s fun to be around.” The homerun race of 1998 was one of the most exciting events in baseball history. Sammy Sosa versus Mark McGwire, what a match! The media pressure was extreme, though not to Sammy. “I never feel pressure. Pressure was when I was a kid and didn’t have food on the table,” he says. Every time he pounds a homerun, Sammy kisses two fingers, touches his heart, and blows a kiss. His famous “heart gesture” goes to his mom who is always watching.
For stories on other baseball greats visit: http://library.thinkquest.org/J002934/Great_Players.html