Sosa actually hit two home runs on September 13, 1998 -- his 61st and 62nd of that season.
The one that's commemorated here is the 62nd -- for two reasons. First, because it briefly tied him with Mark McGwire for the major league lead (McGwire would retake that lead two days later against the Pirates), but also because the second of his two HR on that warm Sunday afternoon kept the Cubs in a ballgame that, at first, it seemed they'd win easily.
Sosa's 61st, hit in the fifth inning with Mark Grace on base, gave the Cubs an 8-3 lead over Milwaukee. But Steve Trachsel, Terry Mulholland, Matt Karchner, Felix Heredia, Don Wengert and Chris Haney (man, it hurt my fingers just to type those names) coughed up the lead and the Brewers entered the bottom of the 9th leading 10-8. Milwaukee smacked five HR off Cub pitching that day, including two by Jeff Cirillo, one from future Cub Jeromy Burnitz, and one by backup catcher Bobby Hughes, whose name I didn't even remember (he had about 300 AB for the Brewers in 1997 and 1998).
In the 9th, with one out, Sosa slammed an Eric Plunk pitch into a swarming scrum on Waveland Avenue -- I trust ballhawk will fill us in on the details. Henry Rodriguez doubled and Gary Gaetti singled in pinch runner Jason Maxwell (remember when people were debating whether Maxwell was a prospect or not? -- turned out he wasn't) and the game was tied.
I'm not going to get into the debate over the HR race and how, from our perspective ten years later (can it really be ten years?), it may be tainted by allegations of PED use. At the time, that HR was not only memorable, but meaningful, as it helped the Cubs stay in a game that, had they lost, would have dealt a blow to their wild-card playoff hopes.
On this mlb.com page, you can listen to the radio broadcast of that game -- if you have paid for MLB audio or you want to pay $2.95 for a "day pass". You'd think mlb.com would give away stuff like this as an enticement to subscribe, especially in the offseason, but no one's ever accused mlb.com of creative marketing practices.
As you may have guessed, this won't be the last time this particular game will appear on this list.