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.

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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.


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