04/05/2003 2:10 AM ET
What players are saying
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
With one powerful swing Friday night, Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa became the 18th player ever to hit 500 home runs. Here's what others in baseball had to say about the feat:
"This is a big thing for our country. This makes our young people get more excited about baseball. I'm not trying to be like him -- there's only one Sammy Sosa. But I wish I was as good as he is." --Angels outfielder Julio Ramirez
"Wow. 500. I think it's huge for our country. He's the best Dominican player and one of the best players ever. I never talked to him, but I know there's a big party in the Dominican today. Everybody there will have fun: 'SA-MMY! SA-MMY!' Wow."
--Angels pitcher Ramon Ortiz
"I get excited when I hit one home run. I can't imagine hitting 500 home runs. It's a tremendous accomplishment. Without a doubt, Sammy pretty much etched his name in the Hall of Fame, just for hitting 500 home runs. For him to do it in the fashion that he has, it's incredible." --- Montreal Expos catcher Michael Barrett.
"It's amazing. I feel very happy for him because it's unbelievable. Hitting 500 home runs is something you don't see everyday. I'm very proud for him. I hope he continues to do when he does. He put baseball on top of the mountain." -- Montreal Expos third baseman Fernando Tatis.
"This is great for the Latino people, great for the Dominican people. He is headed to the Hall of Fame and that is great. Five hundred is a lot of home runs. I am happy for him." -- Baltimore Orioles infielder Melvin Mora.
"I'm so happy for him. Nobody I saw on that team works harder than Sammy Sosa, and I saw that the whole time I played with him. It's a great thing for him. He deserves it, and I congratulate him on that." -- Boston Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller, who was Sosa's teammate 2001-2002.
"Nobody in this game works harder than Sammy. He works as hard as Tony Gwynn did when I was his teammate. People say that the home run isn't what it used to be because of the tightened ball and the smaller ballparks, but 500 is a lot of home runs no matter where you play or who you are." -- Baltimore Orioles outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.