Friday, May 30, 2008

Sosa: From Gastonia to retirement?

Sammy Sosa was back in the news this week, announcing his retirement.

In 2009.

Yeah, it's not quite as bad as NBC announcing Leno's retirement five years in advance, but it still rings just as hollow.

Sosa will represent the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic next spring, then officially call it quits.

For those of you who have ever had Sosa on any of your teams, specifically around the late 90s and early zeros, there should be a fond memory or two in there somewhere.

But the inventor of the "Hop" - who will retire with 609 MLB home runs - actually got his career started right down I-85 with the Gastonia Rangers in 1987. That season, a skinny Sosa hit .279 with 11 HR and struck out 123 times in 131 single-A games.

His rookie card, pictured above, actually went for $610 on eBay in 2000. A quick check today had the only sale of that Gastonia Sosa card at $20, although there were several listed in the $150-$200 range.

My, how the mighty have fallen. Even on eBay.

HOME RUN FEST AT WRIGLEY: One afternoon game on the docket had the Rockies and Cubs slugging it out in 15-mph winds (toward Waveland). The Rockies chased Ted Lilly after 3 innings and 3 HR. Down 9-1, the Cubs took Derek Lee and Geovany Soto out, but then roared back behind HR from Kosuke Fukudome, Jim Edmonds (yes, Jim Edmonds, who had 3 hits), Henry Blanco and Mark DeRosa. Todd Helton, Chris Iannetta and Ryan Spilborghs went long for Colorado in a 10-9 Cubs win/fantasy slugfest.

The Cubs are now 34-21, the best record in baseball. Folks at Wrigley are still stunned and are hanging around their seats, talking to strangers trying to make sense of what they just saw. Destiny? Who knows. But it's getting harder and harder to rule it out.


Anonymous said...

Now all we have to do is teach local (Charlotte)sportcasters about
B A S E B A L L; the only true American sport!