Welcome to Heaven or Hell, a feature where the staff of Wax Heaven looks at a player (active or retired), his rookie card, and asks all the important questions.
I want to like Sammy Sosa, I really do. To be perfectly honest, I was hoping he would jump past Mark McGwire in 1998 to become the single-season home run king, but it just was not meant to be. He did get the M.V.P over Big Mac that year, which is a nice addition to any player’s collection.
The first thing that I notice when looking at ‘Slammin’ Sammy’s’ career numbers is the fact that in his first four seasons he was a scrub. In 1990 he played in 153 games and hit just 15 homers and 70 RBI…not exactly superstar standards.
In 1993 something “miraculous” happened and Sammy became a slugger. We don’t know if it was steroids or extra batting practice but from 1993 to 2004 he was THE premier slugger hitting 40 or more home runs 7 times, including a ridiculous 60 or more 3 times. And then it all came crashing down and for some unknown reason all of Sammy’s power vanished. Could it be old age that finally caught up to him or was it fear? You see, Sammy’s teammate Rafael Palmeiro, a once shoe-in for Hall of Fame was caught with his hand in the Steroids cookie jar and quickly became the most hated man in baseball. Was Sammy scared of getting caught, too? How else would you explain 14 home runs and a .221 batting average from the former M.V.P in 2005?
Wax Heaven Verdict: HELL!
Sammy, we loved ya’ but something is just too fishy about your career stats. You may have reached 600 home runs but something tells me half of those were through the help of chemicals purchased from a home in Weston, Florida. (Google it!)
Anyways, his once over-priced Leaf rookie goes for almost nothing on eBay. In fact, you can pick up two graded Gem Mint 10’s for $5 at the moment. Damn, talk about a fall from grace.