||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
Sandberg, as manager of the Peoria Chiefs.
September 18, 1959 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 2, 1981 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1997 for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||1,061|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Ryne Dee Sandberg (born September 18, 1959), nicknamed "Ryno," is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. He played major-league baseball for sixteen years (1981–1994 and 1996–97) and spent nearly his entire career with the Chicago Cubs. He was named for relief pitcher Ryne Duren, and is recognized as one of the best second basemen of his era. Sandberg was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005.
Sandberg established himself as a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove candidate, making 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and winning nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major-league record at second base.
Early life 
Sandberg was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Elizabeth, a nurse, and Derwent D. Sandberg, a mortician. Sandberg was a star high-school quarterback in Spokane, Washington, where he graduated from North Central High School. In 1977, he was named to Parade Magazine's High School All-America football team, identifying him as one of the top two football players in the state of Washington. After his high school graduation, the school's baseball field was named in his honor as "Ryne Sandberg Field".
He was recruited to play quarterback at NCAA Division I colleges, and eventually signed a letter of intent with Washington State University. He rescinded the letter after being drafted in the 20th round of the 1978 baseball amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia Phillies 
However, the Phillies didn't have much room in the lineup for him at the time. The Phillies didn't think he could play shortstop, though he would have probably had trouble dislodging Larry Bowa from that spot in any event. While he'd seen time in the minors at second base and third base, he was blocked from those positions by Manny Trillo and Mike Schmidt respectively. Accordingly, he was traded along with Bowa to the Cubs for shortstop Iván DeJesús prior to the 1982 season. The trade, now reckoned as one of the most lopsided deals in baseball history, came about after negotiations between Bowa and the Phillies broke down for a new contract.
However, Cubs general manager Dallas Green, a former Phillies manager, wanted a young prospect to go along with the aging Bowa (as it turned out, Bowa would be out of baseball by 1985). Green had largely been responsible for the Phillies drafting Sandberg in 1978, when Green worked in the Phillies front office. The two have remained very close over the years. Years later, Phillies general manager Paul Owens said that he didn't want to trade Sandberg, but Green and the Cubs weren't interested in any of the other prospects he offered. Owens then went back to his scouts, who told him Sandberg wouldn't be any more than a utility infielder. However, Sandberg had hit over .290 in the minors two years in a row. The trade is now considered one of the best (if not the best) in recent Cubs history. At the same time, it is considered one of the worst trades in Phillies history; DeJesus would only last three years in Philadelphia, and was out of baseball by 1988.
Sandberg is one of two Hall of Famers who came up through the Phillies farm system and earned their Hall of Fame credentials primarily as Cubs, the other being Ferguson Jenkins. Similarly, Jenkins was traded to the Cubs in another lopsided trade (a multi-player trade for pitchers Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl).
Chicago Cubs 
The Cubs, who initially wanted Sandberg to play center field, installed him as their third baseman, and he went on to be one of the top-rated rookies of 1982. However, Sandberg was displaced by Chicago's trade for veteran Ron Cey following the 1982 season, so Sandberg moved to second base, where he became a star.
After winning a Gold Glove Award in his first season at the new position, Sandberg emerged with a breakout season in 1984, in which he batted .314 with 200 hits, 114 runs, 36 doubles, 19 homers and triples, and 84 RBI. He nearly became only the third player to collect 20 doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases in the same season, led the Cubs to the National League's Eastern Division title (their first championship of any kind since 1945), and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, the first by a Cub since Ernie Banks' back-to-back honors in 1958 and 1959.
After his great season in which he garnered national attention, he wrote an autobiography Ryno with Fred Mitchell.
"The Sandberg Game" 
One game in particular was cited for putting Sandberg (as well as the 1984 Cubs in general) "on the map", an NBC national telecast of a Cardinals–Cubs game on June 23, 1984. The Cubs had been playing well throughout the season's first few months, but as a team unaccustomed to winning, they had not yet become a serious contender in the eyes of most baseball fans.
As for Sandberg, he had played two full seasons in the major leagues, and while he had shown himself to be a top-fielding second baseman and fast on the basepaths (over 30 stolen bases both seasons), his .260-ish batting average and single-digit home run production were respectable for his position but not especially noteworthy, and Sandberg was not talked about outside Chicago. The Game of the Week, however, put the sleeper Cubs on the national stage against their regional rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams were well-established franchises with strong fan bases outside the Chicago and St. Louis areas.
In the ninth inning, the Cubs trailed 9-8, and faced the premier relief pitcher of the time, Bruce Sutter. Sutter was at the forefront of the emergence of the closer in the late 1970s and early 1980s: a hard-throwing pitcher who typically came in just for the ninth inning and saved around 30 games a season. (Sutter was especially dominant in 1984, saving 45 games.) However, in the ninth inning, Sandberg, not yet known for his power, slugged a home run to left field against the Cardinals' ace closer. Despite this dramatic act, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again in the tenth inning, facing a determined Sutter with one man on base. As Cubs' radio announcer Harry Caray described it:
|“||There's a drive, way back! Might be outta here! It is! It is! He did it again! He did it again! The game is tied! The game is tied! Holy Cow! Listen to this crowd, everybody's gone bananas! What would the odds be if I told you that twice Sandberg would hit home runs off Bruce Sutter?||”|
The Cubs went on to win in the 11th inning. The Cardinals' Willie McGee had already been named NBC's player of the game before Sandberg's first home run. As NBC play-by-play man Bob Costas (who called the game with Tony Kubek) said when Sandberg hit that second home run, "Do you believe it?!" The game is sometimes called "The Sandberg Game". The winning run for the Cubs was driven in by a single off the bat of Dave Owen.
In 1990, Sandberg led the National League in home runs–a rarity for a second baseman–with 40. Sandberg was only the third second baseman to hit 40 home runs; Rogers Hornsby and Davey Johnson hit 42, and no American League second baseman has yet reached forty. Sandberg also batted in 100 runs, despite batting second in the order. His batting average did not suffer from his new level of power, as he finished at .306 for the season. Sandberg, Brady Anderson and Barry Bonds are the only players to have both a 40-homer (1990) and 50-steal (1985) season during their careers. Sandberg played a then major league-record 123 straight games at second base without an error. This record was later broken by Plácido Polanco, then of the Detroit Tigers.
On March 2, 1992, Sandberg became the highest paid player in baseball at the time, signing a $28.4 million ($46,462,319 today) four-year extension worth $7.1 million ($11,615,580 today) a season. He earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster and an NL Silver Slugger Award at second base with a .304 batting average, 26 home runs, 100 runs, and 87 runs batted in.
After struggling early in the season, Sandberg retired in 1994. While he had been a historically slow starter throughout his entire career, his 1994 start was slower than normal. In his book, Second to Home, Sandberg said,
|“||The reason I retired is simple: I lost the desire that got me ready to play on an everyday basis for so many years. Without it, I didn't think I could perform at the same level I had in the past, and I didn't want to play at a level less than what was expected of me by my teammates, coaches, ownership, and most of all, myself.||”|
Sandberg returned to the Chicago Cubs for the 1996 and 1997 seasons, retiring again with a career batting average of .285, and a record 277 home runs as a second baseman; this record was surpassed in 2004 by Jeff Kent.
Post-playing career 
Initially, Sandberg kept a low profile after retiring. However, in 2005, Sandberg accepted his first marketing deal since his retirement, agreeing to be spokesman for National City Bank. He also appeared on ESPN Radio 1000 as an analyst during the 2004 baseball season. He is also a former baseball columnist for Yahoo! Sports.
Hall of Fame induction 
Sandberg delivered what many traditionalist fans considered a stirring speech at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005. He thanked the writers who voted for him because it meant that he played the game the way he had been taught it should be played. He spoke several times of respect for the game, and chided a subset of current players who, in his opinion, lack that respect. Specifically, he spoke of how the game needs more than home run hitters, citing that turning a double-play and laying down a sacrifice bunt are weapons many of today's greats don't value. He also made a strong pitch for induction of his former teammate, Andre Dawson, who was ultimately elected to join the Hall in 2010.
Sandberg's number is retired 
|Ryne Sandberg's number 23 was retired by the Chicago Cubs in 2005.|
Following his Hall of Fame induction, Sandberg had his number 23 retired in a ceremony at Wrigley Field on August 28, 2005, before a Cubs game against the Florida Marlins. He became only the fourth Chicago Cub to have his number retired, following respectively Ernie Banks (#14), Billy Williams (#26), and Ron Santo (#10). Since then, Ferguson Jenkins (#31) and Greg Maddux (also #31) have been retired. Since his retirement, no other Cub had been assigned #23. Sandberg has worn his uniform number 23 in past jobs as a Cubs spring training instructor and Peoria Chiefs manager. He also wore that number during his time with the Iowa Cubs as their manager and as the manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Managerial career 
Sandberg formerly served as a spring training instructor for the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.
On December 5, 2006, Sandberg was named manager of the Cubs' Class-A Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League. In his first season as a manager, he took his team to the Midwest League championship game. In December 2008, Sandberg was promoted to manager of the Class Double-A Team Tennessee Smokies in the Southern League. In December 2009, he was again promoted, to manager of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Upon leading Iowa to an 82-62 record, the Pacific Coast League named him its 2010 Manager of the Year.
Sandberg has said that his ideal job would be to manage the Chicago Cubs. Former manager Lou Piniella suggested that Sandberg, as manager of the Cubs' top minor-league affiliate, would be in the mix to replace him when he retires after the 2010 season. However the position was given to interim manager Mike Quade.
On November 15, 2010, Sandberg left the Cubs organization and returned to his original organization as manager of the Phillies' top minor-league affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He led the IronPigs to their first-ever playoff appearance and the International League championship series. Baseball America named him its 2011 Minor League Manager of the Year. On October 4, 2012, Sandberg was promoted to 3rd base coach and infield instructor of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Personal life 
Charity foundations 
Sandberg and his wife, Margaret, founded Ryno Kid Care to assist in the lives of children with serious illnesses. The organization provided anything from big brothers to a home-cooked meal. Ryno Kid Care also provided massage therapists and clowns dressed up as doctors and nurses to brighten the children's day. He has one son and one daughter, Justin and Lindsey.
Ryno Kid Care's mission was "dedicated to enhancing the lives of children with serious medical conditions and their families, by providing supportive, compassionate and meaningful programming."
Ryno Kid Care is no longer in operations.
Other information 
His last game at Wrigley Field on September 21, 1997 was also the last game during which Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray would perform "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch, as Caray died the following offseason.
On August 8, 1988, during the first scheduled night game at Wrigley Field, Morganna the Kissing Bandit almost kissed him, but was intercepted by park security; he knocked the next pitch out of the park, to thunderous applause. All events of that night were voided however, as the game was called in the fourth inning and wiped out.
See also 
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
||This article uses bare URLs for citations. (November 2011)|
- "City Of Stars". CNN. July 27, 1992.
- Blanchette, John. At his alma mater, Sandberg had a field day, Spokesman-Review, page 36, January 31, 1995.
- Kepner, Tyler. Hall of Famer’s Slow Road to a Major League Bench. New York Times, 2010-08-09.
- Blanchette, John. "An Early Star Quality", The Spokesman-Review.com. Available at http://www.spokesmanreview.com/sections/sandberg/story.asp?ID=early_years
- Neyer, Rob (2006). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders. New York City: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-8491-7.
- "Ryne Sandberg from the Chronology". BaseballLibrary.com. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- Ryne Sandberg's Hall of Fame induction speech, 31 July 2005, transcript available at http://www.cubsnet.com/node/526
- "Sandberg Named PCL Manager of Year". Iowa Cubs. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- Schuler, Jeff (December 5, 2011). "2011 Minor League Manager Of The Year: Ryne Sandberg: Sandberg forges new path as top manager". Baseball America. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- De Luca, Chris (October 2, 2009). "Ryno could be next, best choice". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
- Simon, Andrew (October 4, 2009). "Piniella: Sandberg would be 'in mix'". MLB.com (Major League Baseball). Retrieved October 6, 2009.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Ryne Sandberg at the Baseball Hall of Fame