Sosa's 62nd Is Not As Popular as McGwire's
Posted September 13, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Most people know Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. But do they know who did the moon walk next? It wasn't Michael Jackson. Second place finishers often become trivia questions. Baseball's Sammy Sosa may be a future trivia question though many say that would be a shame.
Mark McGwire's home run number 62 was the shot heard around the world last week.
Sammy Sosa reached the same mark this weekend though the worldwide hoopla did not quite match McGwire's.
David Chase, the president of Baseball America Magazine, published in Durham, says there's at least one good reason for the different treatment of these two home run kings.
"Well, of course, technically Sammy hasn't broken a record. He's tied a record I guess. But I think McGwire, after a 37 year span waiting for this record to fall, McGwire did it first," said Chase.
He also says theChicago Cubshave a higher team prize to focus on than theSt. Louis Cardinalsdo. That is a race for the pennant. Another reason for the hype-gap may lie with the fans in St. Louis.
"Baseball America ranked theMajor LeagueandMinor Leaguecities as to the best in baseball, and we selected St. Louis as the best baseball city in the country," Chase explained.
Durham also has a lot of loyal baseball fans.
"I'm not against Mark McGwire, but I think Sammy's going to be the man this year," said Sosa fan Gene Gossett.
McGwire and Sosa are keeping the competition friendly such that many hope neither is forgotten in the game's history books.
"But who knows in the end what the baseball hierarchy could do for both of them at the end of the season. And do something nice for both of them to treat them for what an accomplishment they have done this year," McGwire fan Gene Devine said.
There are still two weeks left in the baseball season not including the playoffs. So there's still plenty of time for McGwire and Sosa to keep on setting and breaking the homerun record.