Users regret Sosa snub,
but rave about record
Posted: Fri September 18, 1998
CNN/SI users were asked to share their thoughts about Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa breaking Roger Maris's record for home runs in a season. As the battle between the sluggers goes on, comments across the spectrum are coming in. We've published a selection below. Click here to have your say on the home-run chase.
I think MLB's treatment of Sammy's 62nd home run was a disgrace.
Just say for the sake of argument that both Sammy and Mark got injured while they were tied at 62, and played no more this season. Would McGwire's 62 be "more of a record" than Sammy's because he hit his six days earlier? No way.
Outside of the press, this is not a race to 62. It is a record for most home runs in a single season. It matters not who got there firstif they both have 62, they both hold the record, period.
And if Sammy goes on to beat McGwire for the record, years from now people far removed from the media hype surrounding this year (and the undeniable magic surrounding that night in St. Louis) will look at McGwire's 62nd ball in the Hall of Fame and wonder what the big deal is, as they continue on their way to see Sammy's bat, jersey, and 68th ball.
The fact is McGwire got the red carpetand Sammy got
I think this is great.
These two guys have once again made baseball fun to
watch. They are two class acts chasing the same honor. The other
great thing about it is that the rivalry is now
two-rivalries-in-one, the Cards and the Cubs and these two
going at itit's the greatest rivalry in sports. GO
McGwire's tribute to the Maris legacy is most poignant. Baseball records are just numbers, but it's really about the story of how those records were made.
I was fortunate enough to be a starry-eyed, baseball crazed, hero-worshipping 10-year-old in 1961. Like many at the time, I was influenced by the media to think that Maris's accomplishment was a fluke, he was undeserving, he was one-dimensional, etc.
A little older and wiser, having read the recent stories about Marisand Mac's public endorsement of MarisI realize Maris had one of the defining accomplishments in baseball or all of sports. Maris's record lasted longer than the great Bambino's. To put it in another perspective, if Maris didn't break the record, the Babe's record would lasted 71 years.
It's time we rewrite the history books on Roger and grant
him the rightful place he deserves. Thanks
A nation desperately in search of a diversion conveniently finds a quest for a fabled prize. Two selfless knights, intertwined in competition and mutual respect, have shown us that there ARE good things happening, and we can all share in them.
Fans caught up in the euphoria have surrendered trophy HR balls for no gain. Unsold, the balls retained their magic, refuting the cynicism that threatened to swallow us. No amount of money could have bought such healing.
Our two knights have proven to be deserving of our worship,
but next year, maybe Sir Junior can help extend the
I think that the record of 61 dingers in a season is one of
the most cherished and hallowed in all of sports. To have
two people break in the same year is great. Just look what
it has done for baseball. We're four years removed from a
was devastating to the game and to have fans come back in
droves to ballparks just to watch these guys perform is
great to see. Sure they're jaded fans but who cares. At
least they appreciate what these two guys are able to do
and recognize their
The only drawback is people will expect them to do this
year and the year after that,
It's a home run record. It doesn't save the whales, solve
world hunger, or cure cancer.
It's a SPORTS recorda big onebut it's only a
record. And it's been exciting as hell to
I think the home run record was good for baseball overall,
but I must admit that I was severely disappointed with how
MLB treated Sammy Sosa's record-breaking home runs. Not to
diminish in any way the accomplishments of Mark McGwire,
but come on.
Baseball already has a serious and damaging reputation as
an old, white, male organization, and this debacle did not
At first it seemed like overkill. A nation depressed, and let down by leaders, reaching out for something to be proud of or excited about. Then, as I was driving to the polling station on election day, stalled out in the long line of cars, I glanced at a high school baseball field, much smaller than the major league baseball stadium fields. That distance seemed so very long. After the dusty orange-tan infield ended, the grass of the outfield went on and on and on. Even the warning track was no small margin, but another thirty feet to drain the charge out of the ball. It made me remember playing baseball as a kid. Another thing came to mind. Just hitting against an average pitcher, not the kind with the invisible fast ball; it was such an accomplishment just to TOUCH the ball. You had to concentrate so much, and react so quickly, not really harnessing much of your bodily strength, but more of a quick jerk of your forearms.
Both the endless distance from home plate and the near
impossible task of even touching the ball,
when a strong man throws the ball so hard you can't see it,
and if it hits you in the right place could kill you, makes
hitting a ball so far quite a
feat. To be home run king is a very high honor, when you
consider these things. Just to hit one homer is quite an
The lack of public appreciation, and the lack of public
celebration when Sammy Sosa not only broke Roger Maris' 37
year old record, JUST AS MARK DID, but eventually matched
Mark for the existing lead for homers in a season, is a
"SLAM" to Sammy Sosa,
and potentially racially biased.
Does this mean there should be no motivation for those who
also have opportunities to break ANY sports record in the
future, but may be highly influenced to "hold
back" on their realistic future accomplishment simply
because someone else achieved a specific record
first??? What are we not only "telling", but showing
the youth; "if you cannot be FIRST ONLY, don't even
try to continue demonstrating the God-given talent you may
Far too much has been made of homer No. 62, when at the end
of the season that number will mean
nothing. The home run record will be held by one man (two if they
tie), and he alone should be enshrined with the new record.
There is no record till the season is
I think it's a shame that nobody seems to notice Sammy Sosa
and what he's accomplished.
It seems that everybody is only interested in Mark
McGwire. And on the latest [Sports Illustrated] issue, I thought
it was interesting how there were two covers, and how the
one with McGwire was a lot nicer than the one with Sosa.
And how the magazine was full of McGwire and had two pages
I thank Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa for this magical
baseball summer of 1998. The names McGwire and Sosa will be
forever linked together, remembered for their a splash of
purity in an impure sport. I cannot ask for more than they
gave us this summer,
but I can dream. ...
if only McGwire played on an American League contender,
this race could continue into
To me the real aspect of the "chase" that gets to
me, is the fact that Big Mac always wants his son to be
there with him.
The greatest image from 62 was McGwire picking up his
son. There was real emotion only a father and son could share.
It has made me wonder if I will ever be able to give my son
as special a moment as Mark gave to his son. The love that
McGwire has for his son is what made the moment so
emotional, so real. It
is the type of moment every father would want to share with
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