66 Single Season Home Runs by Sammy Sosa
After being a respected hitter for years, Sammy Sosa emerged as one of baseball's greatest players in 1998. His home run race with Cardinal Mark McGwire drew the attention of the nation and the scrutiny of the media. Sosa did achieve the goal of overtaking the sixty-one single season home run mark posted by Roger Maris in 1961, but he happened to hit is sixty-second five days after McGwire. While Sosa did not "win" the race, he gained a large fan following that follows him to this day.
Sosa began the season quite normally, hitting six (6) long balls in April and seven (7) in May. However, Sosa broke a single month home run record in June by knocking twenty (20) balls out of the park. Sosa and McGwire's race was on. Throughout the summer, the men jockeyed for position and constantly fought media reports of bad blood. In fact, McGwire and Sosa were very proud of each other, and enjoyed the healthy competition.
Sosa hit number sixty-two on September 13 off Milwaukee's Eric Plunk. He finished the season with sixty-six, but did not win the National League home run title, as McGwire finished his season with seventy homers. Two years later, Sosa would finally get the title with fifty home runs. With all of the success that followed, 1998 will forever be know as Sosa’s best season, his record changing year.