Greatest Moments: No. 18, Sosa's 62nd Homer

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, January 13, 2011

(Editor's Note: Thiteenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

History has since diminished the significance of the 1998 race for the NL home run crown between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, but while it was happening, it was captivating to even the most casual fans.

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Sammy Sosa connects for his 62nd home run of the season at Wrigley Field on Sept. 13, 1998.

When the Milwaukee Brewers arrived at Wrigley Field for a three-game series on Sept. 11, McGwire's last home run - his record-breaking 62nd - was hit off the Cubs' Steve Trachsel on Sept. 8. Sosa had gone six games since his last homer - his 58th.
In a 13-11 loss to the Brewers on Sept. 11, Sosa's 59th home run of the season - an opposite-field solo blast, inside the right-field foul pole, off Milwaukee starter Bill Pulsipher. It ended a streak of 27 homerless plate appearances for Sammy and it was one of 12 homers he hit against Milwaukee that season.

Awful pitching continued in Game 2 of the Cubs-Brewers series at Wrigley Field as the teams combined for 34 hits and nine home runs in a dramatic 15-12 Cubs victory.

Sosa tied Babe Ruth's longtime single-season home run mark when he cracked his 60th, with help from a 10-MPH breeze onto Waveland Avenue, off Valerio de los Santos, with two aboard in the seventh inning.

In the series finale, the Brewers scored in seven different innings but still lost the game, 11-10, when the Cubs rallied to tie the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth and win the game with a run in the 10th.

But it was Sosa who made headlines, hitting his 61st home run, off Bronswell Patrick, in the fifth inning to pass Ruth and equal Roger Maris' 1961 mark, and his 62nd, in the ninth off Eric Plunk, to pass Maris and pull even with McGwire.

Sosa had pulled even with McGwire with two weeks remaining in the season, but over the final two weeks of the season, the Cardinals slugger outhomered his Cubs counterpart 8-4 and finished with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.

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