Sosa a tag-along in a fluke season.

Sosa And Mark McGwireProbably the best season in baseball history has nearly come to an end. The homerun race was, for sure, the highlight of the 1998 season. The two front-runnersof this race were Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

In this essay I will comparetheir lives. I will tell about how different their childhoods were. I willexplain how differently the media treated each player during the season, and Iwill tell about each player’s accomplishments, and who I think should win theMVP award. Sammy Sosa grew up in the Dominican Republic. His family lived inpoverty. His father was a farmer, and passed away when Sammy was only 7 yearsold. Many people helped Sammy’s mother with food and clothing for he and his 5siblings, something Sammy would never forget.

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He helped his family by shiningshoes, and working as a janitor in a shoe factory. Mark McGwire grew up insuburban 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.

Sosais probably much more grateful for his accomplishments than Mcgwire because hecame from such poverty. It was surprising how different the media treated bothof the players. It seemed their focus was on McGwire, with Sosa just a tag-alongin a fluke season. When Mark McGwire hit homer number 62, the game stopped, thered carpet rolled out, a podium set up, and a 30 minute ceremony ensued.

Then afew days later, when Sammy hit number 62 to put his team ahead in the lateinnings of a very important game, play resumed like it was just another day atthe ol’ ballpark. Mark, after hitting his homerun, was congratulated by RogerMaris’s family (the man who set the record of 61 homeruns), the commissioner ofbaseball, and many other baseball greats. On the other hand, Sammy was contentwith a few insincere phone calls, and a pat on the back by his teammates. Theyeach accomplished the same feat. Why such a diverse acknowledgment? At thecompletion of the 1998 regular season McGwire finished with 4 more homeruns thanSosa, but this was the only category that he led Sosa in. Sammy batted .308compared 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. Sammyscored 134 runs and Mark only 130. The numbers are very clear, that Sammy Sosais a much better all-around player, not to mention that he led his Chicago Cubsto their first postseason appearance in 9 years. Any person who thinks MarkMcGwire is a more valuable player than Sosa is completely unreasonable.

MarkMcgwire’s and Sammy Sosa’s childhoods were tremendously different, but it seemsthe game of baseball has brought them together. If Sosa, clearly having betterstatistics than McGwire, does not win MVP, I will have to ask myself “Wasit because he was black?” I hope the sports writers will save us thecontroversy and vote for the Most Valuable Player; after all, that is what MVPstands for.Sports and Games


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