Chicago Cubs: Cooperstown will eventually welcome Sammy Sosa
By Jake Misener
Make no mistake -1998 changed the game forever
After the strike-shortened 1994 campaign, the game was far from stable. But by the end of 1998, the story – and baseball, as a whole – was changed in an irreversible manner.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
The year prior, Sammy Sosa put up numbers that any slugger today would love. He hit 36 home runs and drove in 119 runs. But what he did in ’98 was simply historic. Along with Big Mac and The Kid, Slammin’ Sammy pounded the ball out of the yard on a near-daily basis, ending the year with 66 home runs.
Five men – five – in the history of the game can claim 60-homer campaigns. Sosa, McGwire, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth and the all-time home run king Barry Bonds. Sosa, in essence, formed the Cubs’ offense all on his own. Chicago scored a total of 831 runs over the course of the season. Sosa alone drove in a staggering 158 of them himself – accounting for just under 20 percent of the team’s scoring.
And he was rewarded. Sosa won his first – and only – Most Valuable Player award at season’s end. The best part for Cubs fans? Their hero was just getting started.