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Sammy Sosa: 1968—: Professional Baseball Player

Stardom Amid Frustrations

At age 19, while playing for a Class A team in Gastonia, North Carolina, Sosa was named South Atlantic League All-Star. The next year, he moved up to the Florida State League in Port Charlotte and advanced to the Rangers' Double A club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. More mature and less flighty at age 20, in 66 games, he averaged .297 at batting and racked up seven home runs and 31 runs batted in (RBIs). The unprecedented game-to-game surge in performance rocketed him to the major leagues.

Upon promotion to the Texas Rangers, on June 16, 1989, Sosa joined the team's regular lineup. As a rookie right-fielder against the New York Yankees, for snagging two hits, he generated headlines and predictions of future greatness. The hype accompanying his sudden emergence disappeared after the next 25 games, when his batting average sank to .238 with 20 strikeouts. Demoted to the Rangers' Triple A team after one month's play, he passed to the Chicago White Sox in July, played the minors for three weeks, and surfaced on August 22 with the White Sox, grabbing attention once more with three hits and a homer.

Inconsistency continued to dog Sosa's playing. 1990 witnessed his debut as a potential major league star. With a .233 batting average, he surpassed other American League players by scoring 32 stolen bases, 26 doubles, 15 homers, and 10 triples. A slump marked by 98 strikeouts in 116 games caused management to doubt his staying power and to send him back to the minors on July 19, 1991.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Nate Smith Biography - Fought His Way into the Union to Theodosius II BiographySammy Sosa: 1968—: Professional Baseball Player Biography - From Poverty To Professional Athletics, Stardom Amid Frustrations, Glory Days With The Cubs, A Spectacular Season