Does Sammy Sosa Belong in the Hall of Fame?
In the eyes of generations that have come before me, Sammy Sosa is a Cubs legend. Not only did he amaze everyone who went to go watch him, but he was also a part of the acclaimed home run battle against Mark McGwire that injected life into a dying game. I, however, do not agree with the Cubs fans that have come before me. As a die-hard Cubs fan, I appreciate what Sammy did for the Cubs and for all of baseball since he was one of the reasons baseball was able to survive following the 1994 –1995 strike. However, Sosa, along with many other stars during the steroid era, had used PEDs during the home run battle versus McGwire, and for that reason alone I believe that Sammy Sosa does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
While I may be under the hot seat once people I know see this, I simply cannot support someone who cheated and someone who went against the integrity of the game I hold so dearly to my heart. While hitting 66 home runs in a single season is something worth appreciating and even though Sosa used PEDs he still has to put the bat on the ball, which easily has to be one of the most difficult objectives in sports. There’s a reason elite hitters will only get 2-3 hits every 10 at-bats. During his incredible 1998 season Sosa posted a .308 BA, .377 OBP, .647 SLG, and a 1.024 OPS which are numbers only a handful amount of people on the planet could achieve and won Sosa the National League MVP.
But he used PEDs.
No matter how much skill it takes to hit a baseball, especially in a time without launch angles and the use of other advanced stats in baseball, he still cheated.
Sammy Sosa, along with several other baseball legends who used PEDs (Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark McGwire) can never be allowed into Cooperstown because they cheated. Not playing the game fairly, in my eyes, automatically means you are not worthy of such an honor. The only argument I can see that actually gets these stars into the hall of fame is that they played during the infamous steroid era, meaning there were a plethora of players using PEDs to get an advantage. May I remind you that any kind of cheating or endorsing cheating is horrible for the game. Just because a lot of people were cheating doesn’t make it okay. The continuous scandals in baseball, like the steroid era and the 2017 Astros, will only continue to tarnish baseball and keep people away from the sport.
While not being able to remember seeing Sosa play and the impact he had on baseball definitely shifts my perspective, I understand the impact he had on the Cubs. I’ve had family that had to wait decades just for the Cubs to even be good and in a time where baseball was dying, Sosa helped rejuvenate baseball. And without him baseball may be at an all-time low today in terms of viewership as well as welcoming new fans to the sport. I truly wish things were different with Sosa. As a Cubs fan, I’d love to get him into the Hall of Fame, but as a baseball fan it’s hard for me to argue for letting him into Cooperstown.
-Tony Anaya (Twitter: @anayaL8TR)