From Babe Ruth to Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa has always somewhat transparently aspired to be someone he is not.
Last November, the six-time Silver Slugger and one-time Major League Baseball MVP raised as many eyebrows as his long rumored, alleged steroid use ever has when he attended the Latin Grammys bearing skin nearly as white and pristine as the baseballs he used to blast the tar out of.
But now comes word that ‘Slammin Sammy’ might again be choosing to show his true colors. Just last weekend, he reportedly partied into the wee hours in Miami Beach amazingly looking like…the Sammy Sosa of old. All the skin whitening and cosmetic cream use has apparently ceased. His skin bore the same hue as it did when he first came into our consciousness as a 20-year-old man of color and aspiring superstar athlete from the Dominican Republic more than two decades ago.
On this sun-drenched evening in Miami, it was almost as if Sammy Sosa had experienced an epiphany. He decided he didn’t want to be anyone other than himself. But these moments typically don’t come about easily for many insecure athletes and celebrities.
Perhaps in Sosa’s case, his come-to-Jesus moment lies in his somewhat belated understanding that no matter what he does, or what he looks like, society will never truly view him as anything more than just another man of color.
That would come as quite a revelation for Sosa, who back in ‘09 seemed so enamored with the thought of appearing a shade or two lighter that he even considered endorsing the products he was using for his radical racial transformation.
“If he feels it is of good quality, it may be something he will be endorsing and marketing in the United States in the near future,” Rebecca Polihronis, a spokesperson for Sosa told the Chicago Tribune.
Six months later, the man who many speculate only took steroids in a misguided and narcissistic attempt to keep pace with the likes of admitted performance enhancing user Mark McGwire and the similarly indicted Bonds, looked in the mirror and must have wondered if any of this was truly worth it.
Sammy Sosa is no more universally loved today than he was before any of this came to be. He’s no closer to the baseball immortality he has long craved.
Still, it’s good to even be able to imagine for a moment that Sammy Sosa may have arrived at a time and place in his life where none of the would-be adulation or superficial praise seem to matter as much as being at peace and overcoming your own demons.
Sammy Sosa, welcome back, Brother.