Cubs: Three legends who deserve to have their number retired
Cubs: Right fielder Sammy Sosa, number 21
It is no secret of the bumpy relationship between the Cubs organization and Sammy Sosa. Sosa has not been welcomed back to Wrigleyville since he left the team in 2004, in large part due to the steroid allegations and Sosa’s adamance to coming clean about the allegations.
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In reality, the majority of Cubs fans do want Sosa welcomed back. Whether or not it does comes to fruition is a whole other story. Sosa enjoyed a 13-year career in ‘The Friendly Confines,’ and, in the eyes of many, a Cubs legend.
The right fielder’s best years came in Chicago. In 1998, the year of the home run race with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire, Sosa won an MVP after hitting a career-high 66 home runs. From 1995-2004, Sosa hit 30+ home runs in each season and put together five straight all-star appearances.
To this day, he is still the club’s home run leader with 545 career home runs in a Cubs uniform and helped lead the team to postseason berths in 1998 and 2003. His adjusted 139 OPS+ ranks fifth in the organization, and only Hack Wilson is ahead of him in slugging percentage.
Baseball as a sport has a long and winding history of controversy on many levels. Each team can probably pinpoint one player in their respective history who they feel had issues that challenged their organization’s dynamic. For the Cubs, it is time to stop holding the grudge with Sosa and embrace everything he did for the organization. It is time they make the necessary reparations and retire the number 21 for good.