Work in Sports
Fifty and beyond
Sosa joins McGwire in three-year homer dominance
By Desmond M. Wallace, CNNSI.com
In baseball lore, Sammy Sosa will be remembered for his summer of 1998 rendezvous with Mark McGwire as the two sluggers rewrote the record books in their pursuit of a new single-season home run mark.
That year, Sosa belted 66 homers while McGwire, of course, smashed 70.
But last weekend when Sosa joined McGwire at St. Louis' Busch Stadium as his Cubs played a three-game set against the Cardinals, a new page in long ball history was penned.
With a two-run blast on Sept, 16, Sosa joined McGwire as the only two major leaguers ever to belt at least 50 homers in at least three consecutive seasons.
With roughly two more weeks to play in 2000, the Dominican native has now strung together seasons of 66, 63, and 50 home runs. That three-year total of 179 home runs is second-best all time.
Over a three-year period, only McGwire, who hit 193 between 1997-99, has belted more.
For all of their individual home run greatness, baseball legendaries like Hank Aaron (129), Hank Greenberg (132), Willie Mays (137) never approached Sosa's three-year totals even in their best seasons.
In fact, despite his 755 career home runs, Aaron never once hit 50 in any single year.
Since Sosa will not even turn 32 until November, there is a possibility that the Chicago star will extend his consecutive 50-homer streak past three straight to equal McGwire's mark.
After all, Babe Ruth had seasons of 60 and 54 homers after his 32nd birthday.
With such a baseball precedence, who knows? The awaiting summer of 2001 might just give legions of Sosa fans one more home run pursuit to get excited about.