This past July 31, Ryne Sandberg was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. And on Sunday, August 28, 2005 the Cubs are retiring Ryno’s #23.
Sandberg was ‘a throw in player’ on a trade from the Phillies before the 1982 season. The Cubs sent shortstop Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for shortstop Larry Bowa and a little know third baseman, Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg moved to second base and became the best at his
position in his era. In my eyes he as an ‘everyday Joe’ that looked like he was having as much fun playing the game as I was having watching him. Ryno made every play in the field like it was second nature to him. His glove was just a big hand to gobble up every grounder and liner hit at him.
Sandberg was a part of the 1984 and 1989 National League East Champion teams and was a leader every step of the way, including winning the 1984 National League MVP honor. Ryno led by example, he was not blessed with the given talent that most of today’s athlete wastes, he made himself a Hall of Famer. Bowa always wondered why
Sandberg took extra infield practice and now he knows, to make himself the best ballplayer he could be.
I was fortunate enough to see Sandberg play on several occasions and was living in Chicago the first time he retired in 1994. I remember being very sad that one of my heroes had retired and that I would never see his grace and joy on the field again. Well he returned several years later and like all of us a little older and a little slower. Sandberg retired for good in 1997 and in 2005 took his place in Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
I miss the days of the ‘Daily Double’. I miss the days of Sandberg to Dunston to Grace. Although those teams won as many games as they lost, it seemed different. It was a different time. Then you hoped the Cubs would win and today you expect it. Wrigley Field was a place of magic and Sandberg was the magician. I have and will always be a fan of Michael Jordan, but the only 23 in Chicago is Ryne Sandberg.
Thank You Ryno!!!