Sammy Sosa said on Wednesday that he would be announcing his formal retirement from baseball soon, and he didn't exactly do it with a dose of modesty.
"Everything I achieved, I did it thanks to my perseverance, which is why I never had any long, difficult moments (as a baseball player)," the former Chicago Cubs outfielder told ESPNdeportes.com. "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Don't I have the numbers to be inducted?"
The now-40-year-old Dominican achieved massive fame in the summer of 1998 as he and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire both pursued Rogers Maris's all-time home run record. McGwire ended up setting the new mark, which has since been broken by Barry Bonds, and Sosa's popularity faded following an incident involving a corked bat and rumours of steroid use.
"I always played with love and responsibility and I assure you that I will not answer nor listen to rumours," Sosa told ESPNdeportes.com. "If anything ugly comes up in the future, we will confront it immediately, but with all our strength because I will not allow anybody to tarnish what I did in the field."
Sosa had 609 career home runs, including impressive campaigns of 66 homers (1998), 63 (1999) and 64 (2001).
Sosa most recently played for the Rangers in 2007.