Sammy Sosa is still on the ballot. This is his 7th time on the ballot. Last year he received 7.8% of the vote (you need to get 5% to stay on the ballot).
You know the Sammy Sosa story. Early in his career, he wasn’t a great player, he chased too many pitchers, didn’t take walks (thinking about it, he was a fair bit like Kevin Pillar, but without the defense). Then suddenly he started hitting home runs by the dozen. He and Mark McGwire had a great battle to be the one to beat out Roger Maris for the home run record. They were credited with saving MLB after two strike/lockout shortened seasons.
He hit .273/.344/.534 with 609 home runs (8th all time), 1667 RBI (28th all time), in 2354 games over 18 seasons. He was an All-Star 7 times, MVP once, and came in 2nd once, and won the Silver Slugger 6 times. He had a career 58.4 bWAR.
I’ll admit I was never a fan. Mark McGwire had a value before the PEDs, but Sammy didn’t have much value outside of the home runs. And he’s been a bit of a jerk about it all, or at least comes off as one in interviews.
I’m not one that believes players shouldn’t be allowed in the Hall if they used, but, in Sosa’s case, I don’t think he would have come anywhere near Hall of Fame numbers without the drugs. He was also caught with a corked bat (if you are going to cheat, you might as well cheat in all ways). I’ve always wondered about the corked bat thing, would it really help you hit the ball further?
Normally I would say that the guy 8th all-time in home runs should be in the Hall, but in this case, there are so many other deserving players on the ballot, I can’t get behind Sosa. My line is ‘would they have been a great player without the PEDs?’. Bonds was a great player before using. Sosa was a 4th outfielder/platoon type before he started using.
You can see Sammy’s stats here.
Most similar careers: Harmon Killebrew (elected BBWAA), Tony Gwynn (BBWAA), Ernie Banks (BBWAA), Pee Wee Reese (elected Veteran’s Committee), Richie Ashburn (VC), Buddy Bell, Ted Simmons, Willie Davis, Jeff Kent (ballot), Fred McGriff (ballot), Bobby Abreu (awaiting ballot).
Would you vote Sammy Sosa into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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