Michael Capponi and Sammy Sosa attend the Inlist third-anniversary party during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 on Dec. 6, 2017, in Miami.
Photo: Romain Maurice (Getty Images)

Whenever I think of former major league slugger Sammy Sosa, I am reminded of old-Kanye lyrics that I always adapt to include the now light-skinned ex-baseball player:

I got a dark-skinned girl look like Sammy Sosa
I got a light-skinned girl look like Sammy Sosa

Somewhere after Sosa’s retirement from baseball, images of the player in different stages of pigmentation loss began popping up online, and so did speculation. Many wondered if Sosa was suffering from a skin disease because surely the once mocha-colored Sosa wouldn’t choose to look like an out-of-work vampire on purpose.

Michael Capponi, Sammy Sosa and Gideon Kimbrell attend InList’s second-anniversary party celebrating Moishe Mana’s birthday on Nov. 30, 2016, in Miami.
Photo: Romain Maurice (Getty Images)

In 2009, Sosa admitted to Univision that his newfound skin color was the result of bleaching cream.

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“It’s a bleaching cream that I apply before going to bed and whitens my skin tone,” he said. “It’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but has bleached me some. I’m not a racist; I live my life happily.”

Even though Sosa chose to look like an exhausted hologram of his old self, he’s heard all the negative comments and he’s tired of it.

“Look at what I am today,” Sosa told Sports Illustrated while pointing out the luxurious space inside the Burj Al Arab Jumeriah hotel in Dubai, where the interview took place. Sosa, who is a legal resident of the United Arab Emirates, added, “This is my life, and I don’t take garbage from nobody. I do whatever I want.”

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Sosa, who was born in the Dominican Republic, began his career in MLB back in 1989 with the Texas Rangers and later become a star with the Chicago Cubs. Sosa had a celebrated career, but he began making news shortly after retiring when his skin began looking like a chewed cow tongue.

It’s fine for Sosa to wish that he didn’t have to talk about his skin color, but he has to admit that the change has been drastic.

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