Sammy Sosa has one of the most recognizable names in all of baseball, highlighted once again in Sunday night's "30 for 30" documentary on his home run chase with Mark McGwire. Most fans of his era remember the former right fielder for his 19-year career (12 with the Chicago Cubs) marked by prodigious power and rippling muscles. But did you know, back in the day...Sosa could fly, too? If not, this video of a skinny Slammin' Sammy hitting an inside-the-parker at the minor league level will blow your mind.
Sosa was a minor league player at the time for the Tulsa Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers at the time in 1989. In one season with the Drillers, he showed occasional spurts of the hitting prowess he would develop with the Cubs, as he hit seven homers and knocked in 31 runs with a .297 average.
In the video shared by MiLB, the young Sosa is seen hustling like a bat out of hell around the bases after a looper is botched by the right fielder. Sosa, with his helmet deserted behind him, slid in to barely secure the run as fans cheered in adulation.
The speed and determination shown by Sosa as he made the race to home plate shows he's definitely a different guy in this clip than the mega-beast who knocked 20 homers out of the yard in June of 1998. Eventually, we guess, he figured out it was simpler to just destroy the baseball and tally a run that way.