Chicago Sports News – Recently Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts hinted at the possibility of reaching out to former slugger Sammy Sosa in the future. Sammy left a bad taste in people’s mouths with his departure, but the time has passed.
In the last few seasons a couple organizations have brought back players from the “steroid era” as coaches and people seem to be warm to the idea. The north side could be ready for Sosa to come back for a few reasons.
Increase in Home Runs = Increase in Attendance
No player has done more for the Chicago Cubs organization, ever. Not even Ron Santo. Attendance numbers can back this up. The lovable losers from Wrigley Field always had fans, but the excitement Sosa created put them over the top.
When Sammy’s home run numbers started rising so did the number of people attending Wrigley. They were filling the stadium and as a result the rooftops had to start erecting more seating. In Sosa’s last season with the club he hit 35 home runs and the organization reached 3 million in attendance for the first time in history. Slammin’ Sammy was filling the seats and in the process filling pockets.
I am not the only person who believes that Sosa has done a lot for the organization. Former teammate and foe, Ozzie Guillen, had this to say to CSN Chicago last fall,
“I don’t care what people say about Sammy. Sammy Sosa saved baseball and the Cubs. Now, we’re just kicking him in the butt and saying ‘get out of here.”
“I don’t think any player in the history of the game did more for the Cubs than Sammy Sosa did.”
In 1998, people started paying attention to baseball again. Games were being attended again and people were glued to the TV that summer while watching Sosa and Mark McGwire chase Roger Maris’ home run record. That year Sammy hit 66 home runs, had 158 RBIs and won the National League MVP. For the work that he and McGwire did that season they earned the 1998 Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year.
The Time Has Passed
It has been ten years since the last time Sosa appeared for the team and it’s time to see him in a Cubs hat again. In that time, Mark McGwire, admitted PED user, came back as hitting coach for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. His good work with St. Louis even earned him a job with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the upcoming season, a team he did not even play for. Even worse is that Barry Bonds who has never admitted to PED use received an invite to San Francisco Giants spring training camp this year as a special instructor.
Teams have realized that you cannot just ignore the past and they have brought these guys back to show their appreciation.
Willingness On Both Sides
Sammy Sosa sees himself as a prodigal son of the Chicago Cubs. He wants to be back with the organization and had this to say to CSN Chicago in October 2013,
“It was my house for many years. It’s like the father got the son home. The son leaves for many, many years.”
“All of a sudden, 10, 20, 30 years later, the son comes back to the house. That’s my hope and expectation. So one day, I will go back to my house.”
Just recently Tom Ricketts spoke on the Kap and Haugh Show and shared his feelings about the Sammy Sosa situation.
“I do think it’s a little weird that we just kinda take some of these guys and pretend they never existed…”
“I think any type of discussion along those lines will really have to balance how people feel about that, too. As you guys know, that issue brings up so many emotions with so many different people.”
How the People Feel
Hey, Tom Ricketts, I’m one of the people and I am ready. Sosa wants back and you have obviously thought about it also. Other organizations are done pretending that these guys don’t exist anymore. In fact, the Chicago Cubs are probably the only ones left that still feel that way. We don’t want it to take another “10, 20, 30 years” like Sammy said.
The emotions that come to my mind are ones of joy when I think about him doing his home run hop. He did great things for the game of baseball and the Cubs. Maybe you don’t want to retire his number yet, but please bring him back for even just one day and I guarantee you will sell out that game. The greatest slugger in the history of the franchise needs to be honored.
Sources: Baseball-Reference; Baseball Almanac; CSN Chicago; CSN Chicago
Author informationMarc-Louis PaprzycaFeatured Columnist at Sports MockeryChicago made. Chicago Sports fan. One of the few people who received the opportunity to play 8 years of high school football. Although, 4 of them were on the NCAA D3 level. Contact firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedInThe post Bring Sammy Sosa Back to the Chicago Cubs. We’re Ready. appeared first on Sports Mockery.