While legendary Chicago sports figures including Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers were in attendance for the recent 100th anniversary celebration of Wrigley Field, former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa was noticeably absent from the affair. In 13 seasons with the Cubs from 1992 to 2004, the Dominican Republic native knocked 545 home runs while growing into one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball. Though many remember his extraordinary 1998 home run race with Mark McGwire -- who eclipsed Roger Maris’ single-season home run record that year -- Sosa is viewed by many as a sour player, after he left the Cubs organization on bad terms in 2004.

“I think there is something that has to be resolved," Sosa -- who left a 2004 Cubs game before it was over and has been linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs -- said recently. “If there is something to clarify, we will sit down and clear it up. Time has given me the maturity to reflect upon many things, including knowing that one side doesn't have to be right all the time. It has been 10 years since I played my last game with the Cubs. That’s a lot of time to have had a conversation about this.”

The now-retired ballplayer was not invited to Wednesday’s Cubs game where numerous Chicago sports legends arrived at Wrigley Field to help fans celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the most beloved venues in the history of sports. Though many fans still view Sosa as a Chicago icon, team chairman Tom Ricketts isn’t sure if the relationship between the two sides will ever be repaired, even if he personally would like to travel in a more positive direction moving forward.

“You would hope that there would be circumstances that you can entertain that discussion,” Ricketts said Wednesday. “I’m not sure we’ll ever get there. I do think it’s a little weird that we just kinda take some of these guys and pretend they never existed. I think any type of discussion along those lines will really have to balance how people feel about that, too. As you guys know, that issue brings up so many emotions with so many different people.”

Not currently involved with the Chicago Cubs organization, Sammy Sosa -- who hit 293 of his 609 career home runs at Wrigley Field -- remains optimistic that he’ll eventually be welcomed back to an organization that helped grow his career in professional baseball.