Updated 12:17pm CST – According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs confirmed Ryne Sandberg has rejoined the organization as a team ambassador.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is finalizing an agreement to become a team ambassador and return to the Cubs in an official capacity. Levine did not provide any details other than he is still talking to the team about what his duties would be as a team ambassador.
Ryne Sandberg is returning to the Cubs Convention this weekend, his first appearance at the annual fan fest in six years. Sandberg left the organization after the 2010 season to manage the Phillies’ Triple-A team after Jim Hendry passed him over for the Cubs’ job.
Sandberg stepped down as manager of the Phillies last June.
Ryne Sandberg threw out the first pitch prior to Game 3 of the National League Division Series as rumors continued that he would be rejoining the Cubs at some point this off-season. Sandberg met with Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein in September as he was looking to reconnect with the organization.
Ryne Sandberg played all but 13 games of his Hall of Fame career with the Cubs. Over 16 years, Sandberg batted .285/.344/.452 with 403 doubles, 76 triples and 282 home runs. Sandberg earned the 1984 NL MVP Award after posting a .314/.367/.520 line with 36 doubles, 19 triples and 19 home runs for a .887 OPS. Sandberg led the Cubs to the NL East crown and the first pennant in 39 years.
Sandberg was part of two division champs, the 1984 National League Eastern Division Champions and the 1989 National League Eastern Division Champions.
Ryne Sandberg was the best second baseman in the National League for a decade and took home the Gold Glove in nine straight seasons (1983-91). Sandberg is one of six players to have his uniform number retired by the Chicago Cubs. And he was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Sandberg started his managerial career in the Cubs’ system after he showed interest in the big league job following the decision not to renew Dusty Baker’s contract. Jim Hendry hired Lou Piniella in 2006. Sandberg worked his way up the minors starting with the Peoria Chiefs in 2007.
Sandberg led Low-A Peoria in 2007 (71-68) and 2008 (60-78) before his promotion to Double-A Tennessee in 2009. Sandberg managed the Smokies to a 71-69 record and was assigned to Triple-A Iowa the following season. Sandberg earned the PCL Manager of the Year award after leading the I-Cubs to an 82-62 record.
Sandberg left the Cubs’ organization following the 2010 season when Jim Hendry decided Mike Quade was a better fit to manage his team.
An official announcement that Ryne Sandberg has returned to the Cubs should be made in the next couple of days.