Rangers History Today: Texas Purchases Contract of Sammy Sosa

On this date, the Rangers made an auspicious contract purchase from one of its minor league affiliates, a lanky, quick outfielder named Sammy Sosa
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On this date in Texas Rangers history, the Sammy Sosa "era" began with the Rangers. It didn’t last that long.

On June 15, 1989, the Rangers purchased Sosa’s contract from Double-A Tulsa and promoted him to the Majors. He would make his MLB debut a day later in a doubleheader against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The Rangers lost both games, and Sosa went 2-for-8 in the two games.

Sosa would hit his first home run on June 21 off Roger Clemens when the Rangers faced the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He would get regular playing time until mid-July when the Rangers, seeking to make a playoff push, used Sosa as a chip to gain some support.

On July 29, 1989, the Rangers traded Sosa with Wilson Álvarez and Scott Fletcher to the Chicago White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. Baines was the centerpiece for the Rangers, one of the game’s best hitters who would eventually reach the Hall of Fame. But the Rangers didn’t make the postseason that year.

Meanwhile, Álvarez would go on to throw a no-hitter for the White Sox in 1991. Sosa, of course, would eventually end up across town with the Cubs and become one of the most productive power hitters of the 1990s. 

Sosa returned to the Rangers in his final MLB season in 2007, playing 114 games and hitting .221 with 21 home runs and 92 RBI. This was after he didn’t play the entire 2006 season. During his final season, he hit his 600th career home run, part of the 609 home runs for his career.

But, on this day, Sosa’s 18-year MLB career began in New York City in a road gray Rangers uniform.

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