Sammy Sosa And Mark McGwire Probably the best season in baseball history has nearly come to an end. The home run race was, for sure, the highlight of the 1998 season. The two front-runners of this race were Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. In this essay I will compare their lives. I will tell about how different their childhoods were.
I will explain how differently the media treated each player during the season, and I will tell about each player’s accomplishments, and who I think should win the MVP award. Sammy Sosa grew up in the Dominican Republic. His family lived in poverty. His father was a farmer, and passed away when Sammy was only 7 years old. Many people helped Sammy’s mother with food and clothing for he and his 5 siblings, something Sammy would never forget.
He helped his family by shining shoes, and working as a janitor in a shoe factory. Mark McGwire grew up in suburban southern California, the son of a dentist, so money was never an issue. He had the support of his father throughout his entire career, unlike Sosa. Sosa is probably much more grateful for his accomplishments than Mcgwire because he came from such poverty. It was surprising how different the media treated both of the players.
It seemed their focus was on McGwire, with Sosa just a tag-along in a fluke season. When Mark McGwire hit homer number 62, the game stopped, the red carpet rolled out, a podium set up, and a 30 minute ceremony ensued. Then a few days later, when Sammy hit number 62 to put his team ahead in the late innings of a very important game, play resumed like it was just another day at the ol’ ballpark. Mark, after hitting his homerun, was congratulated by Roger Maris’s family (the man who set the record of 61 homeruns), the commissioner of baseball, and many other baseball greats. On the other hand, Sammy was content with a few insincere phone calls, and a pat on the back by his teammates.
They each accomplished the same feat. Why such a diverse acknowledgment? At the completion of the 1998 regular season McGwire finished with 4 more homeruns than Sosa, but this was the only category that he led Sosa in. Sammy batted .308 compared to Mark’s .299. Sosa drove in 158 runs, while McGwire drove in 147. Sosa finished with an astounding 198 hits, and McGwire managed only 152.
Sammy scored 134 runs and Mark only 130. The numbers are very clear, that Sammy Sosa is a much better all-around player, not to mention that he led his Chicago Cubs to their first postseason appearance in 9 years. Any person who thinks Mark McGwire is a more valuable player than Sosa is completely unreasonable. Mark Mcgwire’s and Sammy Sosa’s childhoods were tremendously different, but it seems the game of baseball has brought them together. If Sosa, clearly having better statistics than McGwire, does not win MVP, I will have to ask myself “Was it because he was black?” I hope the sports writers will save us the controversy and vote for the Most Valuable Player; after all, that is what MVP stands for.