With the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction announcement just days away, fans across the country are anxiously waiting, hoping to hear their favorite ballplayer’s name. For Chicago Cubs fans, no one checks more boxes, at least statistically-speaking, than Sammy Sosa. But is Sammy Sosa in the Hall of Fame? Not yet. And the 2021 announcement doesn’t look promising, either.
Is Sammy Sosa in the Hall of Fame?
According to Ryan Thibodaux’s pre-announcement tracker, Sosa will receive an all-time high level of support this year. The bad news? That ‘all-time high’ constitutes just over one-fifth of the ballots which, again, is nowhere near the tally needed for enshrinement.
A growing number of Cubs fans are adamant that not only does Sosa deserve a place among baseball immortality but also that the organization finally welcome him back. After leaving the team’s final game of the 2004 season early, he has never set foot in Wrigley Field.
During the Cubs’ 2016 World Series run, scores of famous Cubs fans and former players were part of pregame festivities and even sang the seventh-inning stretch. Notably absent from those events was Sosa, who owner Tom Ricketts has no desire to bring back until he acknowledges his role in the Steroid Era and the PED allegations that have long surrounded him.
Those allegations and suspicions have decimated an otherwise Cooperstown-worthy resume since his retirement. Sosa ranks ninth all-time in home runs (609) and his .878 career OPS ranks 104th in baseball history. That might not sound like worth mentioning, until you consider the fact that, according to SABR, 19,576 men have played the game since 1876 – which means Sosa’s career OPS ranks in the top 0.53 percent.
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That’s Hall of Fame-worthy.
To this day, he remains the only big league player to hit 60 or more home runs in three separate seasons. (Seriously, look it up. The guy you’re undoubtedly thinking of, Barry Bonds, only did it once. That came in 2001, when he set baseball’s single-season home run record with 73 bombs.
An admitted PED user, Bonds continues to inch closer to Cooperstown – along with Roger Clemens. While his resume (really, both of their resumes) outshine Sosa’s, the fact the Cubs legend remains impossibly far from the honor is puzzling.
Last time around, Sosa garnered just 13.9 percent of the vote – a far cry from the 75 percent required for induction into Cooperstown. He’s never received any real substantive support from BBWAA (Baseball Writer’s Association of America) voters – nor does he seem likely to, either.
Despite his historic accomplishments and role in arguably saving the game of baseball during the Home Run Chase of 1998, it seems unlikely we’ll ever be able to say, “Yes,” when asked, “Is Sammy Sosa in the Hall of Fame?”