Ryne Sandberg Says Sammy Sosa Faces Roadblock In Being Embraced By Cubs

As popular as he was with fans during his playing days, Sammy Sosa hasn't exactly been welcomed by the Chicago Cubs since he retired.

Sosa spent the bulk of his career at Wrigley Field playing for the Cubs between 1992 and 2004. He also provided some of the most memorable moments for the team through the '90s and early '00s.

The team recently held its annual fan convention, the Cubs Convention. As you might expect there were questions about why the Sosa wasn't being embraced.

Well, Ryne Sandberg had an answer to that question.

Sandberg was on hand for an announcement that a statue of him would be erected outside of Wrigley Field. It should be completed in 2024 along with several other Cubs legends like Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Harry Carey.

Noticeably absent: Sosa, the team's all-time home run leader.

ESPN asked the Hall of Famer, why Sosa seems to get the cold shoulder from both the Cubs and the baseball Hall of Fame, despite his accomplishments and adoration from fans.

"For me, playing the game the right way, with respect, was always what I was taught in the minor leagues," Sandberg explained to ESPN. "That was my Hall of Fame speech. I think I said it 28 times. And there was a little problem with the way that Sammy played the game. If that's a roadblock, that's a roadblock."

Tom Ricketts Sounds Open To Honoring Sosa ... If Done The Right Way

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts was asked about Sosa as well, this time by a fan. Ricketts sounded open — albeit a bit hesitant — to the idea of bringing Sosa into the fold.

"I think there are two sides here," he told the fan during the Cubs Convention owner's seminar. "The Hall of Fame voters believe there are two sides to the story. I know a lot of fans that believe there are two sides to the story. I'd like to get this behind us as well, but I want to be thoughtful about it and do it in a way that's respectful to both the people that love Sammy and people that respect the game too."

That's quite the tightrope to walk.

Sosa was recently removed from the Baseball Hall of Fame writers' ballot. That happens after a player fails to receive enough votes after their tenth year of eligibility.

Sosa has close ties to an era of Major League Baseball that the league and its teams try to keep at arm's length. Sosa was named in a 2009 New York Times article as having used PEDs during his time in baseball.

He has continuously denied these allegations.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by
Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.