At the end of January 2006, the Washington Nationals offered Sosa two
different minor-league offers, both of which he turned down, seeming to
settle into retirement. On February 15, 2006, Sosa's agent Adam Katz
stated: "We're not going to put him on the retirement list. We decided
that [not putting him on that list] was the best thing to do. But I can
say, with reasonable certainty, that we've seen Sammy in a baseball
uniform for the last time."
the 2006 MLB season, Sosa kept himself busy by accompanying Dominican
Republic President Fernandez on several diplomatic trips including U.S.,
Japan and Taiwan. Then, on January 30, 2007, Sosa shocked the baseball
world (but not his close friends and colleagues) by announcing that he
would make an attempt to return to Major League Baseball.
Sosa’s original team, the Texas Rangers, signed him to a minor
league deal worth $500,000, the same contract that Sosa turned down the
previous year from the Nationals. The contract included an invitation to
Spring Training, where Sosa competed for a spot in the lineup and,
after a great spring training, was added to the team's 25-man roster. He
started the 2007 season as the Rangers' designated hitter and
occasional right fielder.
I didn’t come back to reach 600 homers," said Sosa, when asked what
motivated him to return to baseball after a one year hiatus. "I'm
looking for more than that. I'm looking for 700 home runs. When it comes to homers, I'm a greedy
This attitude helped “Slammin’ Sammy” crash through the 600 Home Run
barrier…and keep right on going. The landmark homer came on June 20th,
2007, while playing for the Rangers against his former team the Chicago
Cubs, for which he hit 545 of his 609 home runs). Sosa hit a 5th
inning pitch from Jason Marquis (who happened to be wearing the number
21 jersey formerly worn by Sosa himself) far into the stands, becoming
only the fifth man in history, after Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth,
and Willie Mays, to hit 600 home runs.
"It's a great feeling to prove all of those people wrong. There were
so many who doubted me. Wow. I couldn't believe it,” Sosa said of his
detractors. "I understand that I was out of the game for a year, but
give me some credit. You act like I've never been here before."
The truth of the matter is that Sosa has been EVERYWHERE
before…and he has the homers to prove it. By hitting his 600th homer off
of Marquis of the Cubs, he became the first player in league history to have a
home run against every baseball team. Sammy finished his one-year
farewell tour with 609 Super-size home runs, matching his bigger than life
persona and providing a suitable ending to his career.