(MCT) — When Sammy Sosa offered his public reaction to falling far short of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, caught up in the web of suspicion surrounding baseball's Steroid Era, that reaction came via a news release from a company managed by Sosa -- Injex 21.
That company specializes in needleless drug injections, according to the news release and according to its website, injex21.com the front of which welcomes visitors with the headline, "A future free from needles." The site then lists insulin as one example of a medicine that can be delivered with the Injex 21 system and shows pictures of people using its products.
Sosa's uniform number during his playing career was 21.
A company biography on the Injex 21 site says Sosa was introduced to the firm in "mid 2012," and that the former Cubs icon saw it as a chance to "help millions of people. From people who are afraid of needles to those who have to subject themselves to daily self-injections and to medical workers who are at risk for puncture wounds."
Rebecca Polihronis, marketing manager for Injex 21 and a former Cubs employee, said the company was in the early stages of touting its social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. By Thursday morning, Sosa's newly discovered use of the social media sites was getting attention around the Web, with help from Polihronis. By mid-afternoon, things had changed.
"We're not making any more comments at this time," Polihronis said when asked about the company, a little over a day after it was announced that Sosa had been named on just 12.5 percent of ballots cast for election to the Hall of Fame. Entrance to the Hall requires inclusion on 75 percent of ballots cast. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro were among those who have been linked to steroid use and who, like Sosa, also were not voted into the Hall this week.
"Even if we weren't inducted on our first time, we are still winners and there is always a next time," Sosa is quoted as saying in the release sent by Injex 21, which also said Sosa is involved with another company, Riverhead Homes, which "provides disaster-proof buildings and homes."
Sosa has never been publicly proven to have taken steroids, which are sometimes delivered via injection and by other means, but was reported by The New York Times in 2009 to have failed a steroid test six years prior. Sosa has repeatedly denied taking steroids, including the 1998 claim that his increased strength had come from Flintstones vitamins and later in sworn testimony before Congress in 2005.
Sosa hit 609 home runs in his major-league career, including 66 in that 1998 season, when his back-and-forth duel with McGwire captured the nation's attention.
Sosa is listed as one of two managing members of Florida-based Injex 21, according to the Florida Secretary of State's website.