11 fun facts from Sammy Sosa's career with the Chicago White Sox
Most Chicago baseball fans know Sammy Sosa played on the South Side before the North Side. Sure he wasn’t the same slugger who battled Mark McGwire for the home run crown in 1998, but Sosa still had plenty of great moments. Here are 11 fun facts from Sosa’s time with the White Sox--with a bonus fact at the end.
Sosa homered in his White Sox debut August 22, 1989. He went 3-for-3 with two walks that day, with walks in the 2nd and 3rd innings, singles in the 5th and 7th innings and a home run off David West in the 9th at the Metrodome. Sosa is one of 37 players to homer in his White Sox debut.
Sosa hit 15 home runs and stole 32 bases in 1990 in his age 21 season. He’s the youngest player in White Sox history to record 15 HR and 15 SB in a season.
In 1990, Sosa hit four leadoff home runs, tying the then-White Sox record set by Jim Morrison in 1979. The mark has since been broken by Tim Raines (five in 1993) and Ray Durham (six in 2001).
In 1991, Sosa became the second player in White Sox history (after Minnie Miñoso in 1960) to hit two home runs in a season-opening game. Sosa went 3-for-4 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in Baltimore. Four others have done it since (Jim Thome in 2008, Alejandro de Aza in 2014, Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson in 2018).
On May 7, 1991, Sosa hit a walkoff home run off the Brewers’ Mark Lee in the 12th inning. At age 22 years, 176 days, he’s the fourth-youngest player in White Sox history to hit a walkoff home run, the youngest since Harold Baines (who’s the youngest at 21 years, 133 days on July 26, 1980), and one of only five players in Sox history to hit a walkoff shot at age 22 or younger.
Sosa is one of two players in MLB history with at least 25 career home runs for both the Cubs and White Sox. George Bell, for whom he was traded, is the other one.
Sosa had 10 triples in 1990. Twice that season he had multiple triples in a game. He was the first Sox player with multiple multi-triple games in a season since “Jungle Jim” Rivera (three such games) in 1953. Since Sosa, only Lance Johnson (two in 1995) has done it.
Sosa was the White Sox starting right fielder for the last game at Old Comiskey Park (September 30, 1990) and the starting right fielder for the first game at New Comiskey Park (April 18, 1991).
When Frank Thomas made his MLB debut on August 2, 1990, Thomas hit fifth in the order and Sosa hit sixth. At the time, they had 13 combined MLB home runs (all by Sosa, obviously). They combined to finish with 1,130 career home runs.
Several times in 1990-91, the White Sox had lineups featuring three players whose first MLB home run was off a pitcher with 4,000+ career strikeouts. Sammy Sosa and Robin Ventura, whose first homers were off Roger Clemens (Sosa’s was while with Texas), and Craig Grebeck, whose first homer was off Nolan Ryan.
On July 1, 1990, on the 80th anniversary of the first game ever at Old Comiskey Park, Sosa scored the first run of the game. The White Sox would add on three more runs to win 4-0 – despite the fact that Yankees pitcher Andy Hawkins held the White Sox hitless.
On April 18, 2007, when Mark Buehrle tossed his first career no-hitter, the Rangers’ Sammy Sosa was the only baserunner. He was picked off first base after drawing a walk.