Thursday, June 4, 2009
1989 Topps Major League Debut #120: Sammy Sosa
PHOTO: Did Sammy actually have so much hair back then that there simply was no Rangers cap that could fit over it?
STAT: Steroids or not, 243 homers over 4 seasons is pretty amazing.
ANAGRAM: Sammy Sosa = Sassy ammo
It's tough to score Sosa's career. I wavered over giving him an 8 or a 9. It's tough not to wonder about the steroids stuff and hold that against him, but he really doesn't deserve to be singled out. It's easy to forget what he did in 1998, putting on that tremendous homer show with McGwire that brought the fans back to baseball. This is a guy who had over 100 RBI in 9 straight seasons and is currently 6th all-time with 609 homers. He's also 30th in total bases and 24th in RBI despite being only 78th in plate appearances.
I really wonder about his HOF candidacy, even aside from the steroids issue. It's hard to imagine anybody with 600 HR not getting into the Hall of Fame. Certainly Barry Bonds deserves it based on stats alone as does Ken Griffey. But here's the thing. His Hall of Fame Monitor (which measures only how likely a player is to get in) is 201, with 100 being a likely HOFer, while his Hall of Fame Standards (which measures true merit of getting in) is "only" 51, with an average HOFer being 50. Neither number suggests he shouldn't get in, but the combination of numbers suggests that his reputation is far better than his actual numbers, and that's before we take steroids into account. I'm really curious to see what happens with Slammin' Sammy.