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Friday, March 7, 2003
Hall of Fame not on Sosa's mind

Sammy Sosa has been one of the premier sluggers in the game for the last few years.

With the 2003 season around the corner, Sosa is close to reaching yet another milestone.

He needs only one home run to reach 500 for his career, but the Chicago Cubs star told ESPN's Dan Patrick that he doesn't see 500 as a benchmark for the Hall of Fame.

Patrick's interview with Sosa will be featured on "Sunday Conversation" on the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter. Other highlights of their conversation:

  • DP: Just a coincidence that you show up early this year for training camp? You got a new manager.

    SS: Yes, I had to do it. One of the reasons why was because there were so many rumors about me before. And I say to myself, I need to stop that some way, somehow. And I tell you what-- that day I show up so early you know it makes everybody happy. With the new manager and team that we have, we have to be together. And the first piece was me showing up early.

  • DP: You've gone up there and it doesn't matter who is on the mound, you feel like you can go deep?

    SS: Always do that.

  • DP: Who did you do that against?

    SS: Against everybody.

  • DP: Who did you do that against? Curt Schilling? Randy Johnson?

    SS: Against everybody. With all respect I have for Curt Schilling, I love him very much. Randy Johnson is a great person but when I get ready to go there, it could be my mother.

  • DP: And you are taking her deep?

    SS: No question. That's my job.

  • DP: Your next home run puts you in the 500 Club. Does that make you a Hall of Famer?

    SS: No, I think it's a good chance. I'm not stopping here. I can say I will be Hall of Famer the day that I retire, but right now I'm not.

  • DP: Home runs put you in a pretty exclusive club. You don't think that's not enough to put you in the Hall of Fame if your career ends?

    SS: If I were to finish my career after I hit 500 home runs, I will tell you yes.

    DP: You would be a Hall of Famer?

    SS: After that, yes. But my career's not over yet.