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 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -Sammy Sosa was honored Saturday night by the Texas Rangers for hitting his 600th career home run last month.
Juan Marichal and Rico Carty, former baseball stars from Sosa's native Dominican Republic, were also on hand for the ceremony the Texas Rangers held prior to Saturday's game against Cleveland.
Sosa hit the milestone homer June 20 against the Chicago Cubs, becoming the fifth major leaguer to reach 600.
``He's mighty large in this country,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``There are a lot of people happy for him and I'm one of them.''
Sosa's family and other Dominican dignitaries also attended the ceremony, which included a video message from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who is also Dominican.
Dominican Vice President Rafael Albuquerque attended the celebration.
The 38-year-old Sosa signed a one-year contract with the Rangers last January after sitting out the entire 2006 season.
He leads the Rangers with 64 RBIs but entered Saturday just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in his previous 14 games.
``It's a long season but my mind is fresh,'' Sosa said. ``It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Sometimes you have to go through a slump and you get back on track. I'm going to continue fighting. It's not how you start, it's how you finish.''
Sosa has been the subject of recent trade speculation, but he said he wants to remain with the Rangers.
``I'm coming to work every day,'' Sosa said. ``I'm very happy here. If something happens, you deal with that later. Right now, I'm still a Texas Ranger and that's what counts for me.''
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