(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)
UPDATE, 5/12/2010: Sammy Sosa is reportedly black again. Click here for more.
UPDATE, 11/13 4:12 AM: Hall of Fame forward Charles Barkley wore white makeup on TNT to mock Sammy Sosa in front of a live televised audience. Click HERE for video.
UPDATE, 11/11 3:50 PM: Chicago Breaking News reports that Sosa is considering endorsing the skin cream that may be responsible for his lighter skin.
"If he feels it is of good quality, it may be something he will be endorsing and marketing in the United States in the near future," said Rebecca Polihronis, the former Cubs community relations employee, who spoke on behalf of Sosa.
Check out the full report.
UPDATE: Sosa attributes the changes in his skin to a cosmetic cream. According to the AP:
Sammy Sosa says a cosmetic cream he uses to soften his skin is the reason for his lighter skin tone.
The former Chicago Cubs slugger was photographed at the Latin Grammy awards in Las Vegas last week with a noticeably whiter face.
Sosa says he has been using the cream for a long time, and combined with bright TV lights, it made his face look whiter than it really is. Sosa says he is not trying to look like late pop star Michael Jackson and is not suffering from any skin illness.
Sosa made his remarks on the Univision Spanish network. He declined to identify the cream.
Sosa, who turns 41 on Thursday, hit 609 homers over 18 seasons in the majors with the Cubs, White Sox, Rangers and Orioles. He hasn't appeared in a big league game since 2007.
ESPN notes that Sosa also remarked, "I am not a racist."
Click here for video of the interview, which was conducted in Spanish.
UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune speaks with Rebecca Polihronis, an acquaintance of Sosa, who claims that that "he is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin."
Sammy Sosa's skin appears to have lightened considerably. Photographs taken at an event in Las Vegas reveal a surprisingly light pigmentation on the former slugger. While no cause has been established at this time, the web site Midwest Sports Fans speculates that steroid use could be responsible:
There appears to be at least some evidence suggesting that steroid use could be one of the lifestyle choices that increases a person's likelihood of becoming symptomatic with vitiligo.
It was reported in June that Sosa, who captured the nation's attention as a prolific home run hitter in the 1990s and earlier this decade, tested positive for steroids in 2003.