A five-time National League All-Star, the 1998 National League MVP, and the first player in major league history to have a trio of 60-homer seasons, 14-year MLB veteran Sammy Sosa finally gets to share his story on what it took to achieve such success. In this week's installment of Fox Sports Net's documentary series BEYOND THE GLORY (Sunday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m.), Sosa brings viewers into his world where growing up with baseball was more than a pastime. Baseball was Sosa's ticket out of the life he knew, working as a shoeshine boy on the streets of San Pedro de Marcoris.
From his upbringing in the Dominican Republic, including his family life and his early baseball playing days, Sosa shares his thoughts from when he was a youngster on making it "big" in professional baseball. He also discusses the personal struggles he faced as a young man in the Major Leagues as well as the excitement and media frenzy surrounding the 1998 home run chase.
BEYOND THE GLORY also chronicles Sosa's humanitarian efforts as he became a hero in his homeland following his foundation's work in the relief effort helping the victims of Hurricane George, which devastated the Dominican in September 1998. Sosa's personal crusade to give his people some hope came in his on-field efforts.
"With so many people suffering, I said to myself let me do good here. Finish strong, so they will have something good to remember," he said about his head-to-head battle with Mark McGwire.
People interviewed for this episode include: Cubs manager Don Baylor, former White Sox and Cubs general manager Larry Himes, family friend Bill Chase, former MLB players George Bell and Juan Marichal, former Texas Rangers scout and current Montreal Expos GM Omar Minaya, minor league teammate Jonathan Hurst and his mother Mireya. Following are some of the quotes from the one-hour show:
Sosa:(on his days as a shoeshine boy) "George Bell, Pedro Guerrero, Julio Franco came in (to town) in those nice cars. In my mind I thought, 'maybe one day I'd be like those guys, you never know.'"
(on his MLB contract for $3,500) "For me, three thousand five hundred was, I mean, like a million."
(on his success) "I'm coming from nowhere, from the Dominican Republic, a happy person…just happy to be in America. I cannot stop doing my job."
Baylor: "He's the modern day Babe Ruth."
Hurst: (on Sammy's determination) "He didn't know the fundamentals. Basically, you know, running through the signs. It was one of those types of things like learning algebra for the first time. It would just give you headaches. He never gave up. That single had to be a double, the double had to be a triple."
Bell: (on his patience) "I told him, "don't worry, keep swinging because the more breaking balls they throw you, the better hitter you're going to be. Because as soon as you know how to hit it, there's no chance they're going to get you out.'"
Himes: (on Himes' trade for Sosa to become a Chicago Cub) "He comes in the trailer and hugs me. 'Larry, I do good for you. I make you proud of me.' To me it's still special."
Accomplished actor and voice-over artist D.B. Sweeney narrates Fox Sports Net's BEYOND THE GLORY series. Sweeney, who brought to life the voice of Aladar in the film Dinosaur, starred in such films as Eight Men Out, Memphis Belle and The Cutting Edge.
FSN's highest-rated weekly show, BEYOND THE GLORY features 20 original programs and is a Fox Sports Net in-house production under the direction of executive producers Frank Sinton and Steven Michaels. Future episodes of BEYOND THE GLORY include Chipper Jones (June 23), Hakeem Olajuwon (June 30) Lennox Lewis (July 7), Ozzie Smith (July 14) and Michael Irvin (July 21).
Fox Sports Net Bay Area reaches more than 3.5 million households in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Fox Sports Net Bay Area is owned and operated by Rainbow Sports Networks, a division of Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
Fox Sports Net reaches more than 79 million households nationwide and is a service of National Sports Partners, equally owned by Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. and Fox. Rainbow Sports Networks incorporates Rainbow's 50% ownership of Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports National Advertising, and the ownership and management of Fox Sports Net regional networks in five of the nation's largest markets: Chicago, Florida, Ohio, New England, and San Francisco.