Alfonso Guilleard Soriano (born January 7, 1976 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) was a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Chicago Cubs until the summer of 2013 when he was traded back to the Yankees who were in desperate need of some right-handed power. Before joining the Cubs in 2007, in addition to the Yankees, he had played for the Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals. Following the 2014 season, he decided to retire. "I've lost the love and passion to play the game," Soriano said at the time of his announcement. "Right now, my family is the most important thing."
Soriano began his professional baseball career in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp, training at their Carp Academy for Dominican players. In 1997, he was promoted briefly to the varsity team, and, wearing uniform number 74, he appeared in nine games, batting .181 (2 for 17) with two walks. In 1997, Soriano earned a salary of $40,000. Soriano finished his career in Japan by retiring from his contract and signing as a free agent with the New York Yankees, using a loophole that had previously been used by Hideo Nomo.
Soriano signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees in 1998, starting his career as an infield player, and played in New York for five seasons. His first hit in the MLB came in 1999 when for the Yankees he hit a walk-off home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2002, Soriano led the American League with 696 at bats, 209 hits, 92 extra base hits, 41 stolen bases, 128 runs and set a New York Yankees team record for most at bats (696) and most strikeouts (157) in a season. He finished in third place for Rookie of the Year honors in 2001.¹
Below are stats for three of Soriano's most productive years. For his career stats, click here.
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