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Alfonso Soriano: From dreaded hitter to shredded dad

Alfonso Soriano: From dreaded hitter to shredded dad
Former MLB slugger Alfonso Soriano retired in 2014 with over 400 home runs to his name and is now a dedicated father with an impressive physique. (Credit: Credit: Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO (BVM) –  Chicago Cubs fans were treated to a surprise special appearance of one of the franchise’s most popular players of the 21st century when former outfielder Alfonso Soriano was shown on the team’s jumbotron. Soriano, who played with the Cubs for seven seasons from 2007 to 2013, had mild success both individually and with the team. Now 46 years old, Soriano certainly didn’t look it as his muscular appearance seemed far away from the wiry and lengthy outfielder Cubs fans had grown accustomed to.

While Soriano resurfaced at Wrigley Field, a place he spent a majority of his 16-year playing career, he is one of the unique athletes who could say he is beloved by a number of franchises as he also had memorable runs with the New York Yankees, the team that first called him up, as well as the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals. Soriano is a player who many who grew up watching baseball in the early 2000s remember but may not fully understand his impact on the game as a whole.

Called up to the Yankees in 1999, Soriano was part of two World Series championships, though he didn’t contribute much to either squad playing in a total of just 31 games over those first two years. However, Soriano would soon carve out a role with the Bronx Bombers, being voted to back-to-back All-Star games in 2002 and 2003.

Alfonso Soriano New York Yankees World Series
Though he played sparingly on the Yankees two championship teams near the turn of the century, Soriano soon proved to be a strong player in his own right going to back-to-back All-Star games. (Credit: VJ Lovero/USA TODAY Sports)

Following the 2003 season, Soriano became a key part of one of the most famous trades in baseball history when he was packaged in a deal to the Texas Rangers for megastar Alex Rodriguez. With the Rangers, Soriano continued to perform, going to two All-Star games in his two seasons with the team.

Alfonso Soriano Texas Rangers
Soriano would continue to thrive with the Rangers, being voted an All-Star in both of his seasons with the team. (Credit: Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Soriano would again be traded, this time from Texas to the Washington Nationals for Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and a minor league pitcher. During his time in D.C., Soriano had perhaps his most recognizable season as he hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases, becoming just the fourth player in MLB history to have accomplished that feat, joining Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. As of this writing, Soriano remains the last person to have achieved the 40-40 threshold.

Alfonso Soriano Washington Nationals
Perhaps the biggest individual accomplishment of his career, Soriano would become the fourth player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season during his lone season with the Washington Nationals. (Credit: James Lang/USA TODAY Sports)

Using his stellar season with Washington to his advantage, Soriano would sign a lucrative eight-year, $136 million contract with the Chicago Cubs, which was then the largest free agent signing in franchise history. Still at the top of his game, Soriano would be named to the All-Star game in 2007 and 2008, marking three consecutive appearances for the NL including his time in Washington, as he helped the Cubs to the postseason in both years. Unfortunately for Soriano and Cubs fans, this would mark the end of an era as the outfielder would never see an All-Star game again and would miss out on the playoffs for the rest of his career.

Soriano would spend a majority of his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs where he would play seven seasons and be named an All-Star twice while hitting .264 with an .812 OPS, 181 home runs and 526 RBIs. (Credit: Gary A.Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

In the middle of the 2013 season, Soriano would be traded back to the Yankees by the Cubs in exchange for Class A pitcher Corey Black. Soriano would play the remainder of the 2013 season and 67 games of the 2014 season before he was designated for assignment on July 6, 2014. On November 4, 2014, Soriano announced his retirement from the game after 16 years where he hit .270 with  412 home runs and 1,159 RBIs.

In total, Soriano would be named to seven All-Star games, was a four-time Silver Slugger, a two-time World Series Champion and was an All-Star game MVP. While Soriano would miss out on the Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility in 2020, he still holds a unique place in baseball history as a member of the 40-40 club and being the only player in MLB history to have multiple seasons with at least 35 homers, 35 doubles and 35 steals.

Now living the retired life, Soriano has enjoyed the years away from the game with his family. The father of six children, Soriano was actually at the game in Wrigley as a part of his son’s baseball team as they stopped by prior to a tournament in Indiana. His son, Allen, is a member of the Class of 2026 and plays for the travel team Tampa Tropics and Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Florida, where the family resides.

Much of Soriano’s Instagram page is filled with time spent with his family, whether celebrating holidays or going on vacations. It is clear through the pictures that Soriano has embraced the next part of his life with open arms. Even during his time at Wrigley, Soriano had to flex how happy he was being a father, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Hot Dad Summer.”

While fans may have been drawn to the sight of Soriano thanks to his physical transformation during his retirement, it is clear that the MLB would not be the same if it never had the star in it. Though he may not be in Cooperstown and may only be beloved by the franchises he played for, Soriano’s play will forever live in the memories of those who watched him as he continues to enjoy his retired life.

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