Icons of the Ivy: Ryne Sandberg
One of the best players in franchise history, Ryne Sandberg’s historic career with the Cubs began in the most unceremoniously way.
Sandberg was a “throw-in” in the Cubs trade that saw them acquire Larry Bowa. That throw-in turned into a hall-of-fame second baseman that hit 282 home runs, was a 10-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove Award winner, 7-time Silver Slugger and a league MVP.
He won a Gold Glove in 1983, but he really erupted into the scene in 1984 in a game that would later be dubbed “The Sandberg Game”.
On June 23, 1984, Sandberg went 5-for-6 with 7 RBI, hitting a game-tying home run off future hall-of-famer Bruce Sutter in the bottom of the 9th and then hitting another game-tying home run off Sutter in the 10th inning. The Cubs would go on to win the NL East that season and Sandberg would go on to win the NL MVP Award.
Not only was he an offensive stalwart, but he was also a wizard with the glove.
“The sure-handed Sandberg led NL second baseman in assists seven times and fielding average four times, while setting records for errorless games by a second baseman,” Cubs historian Ed Hartig said. “Sandberg scored 100 runs seven times, leading the league three times. He also led the NL in home runs in 1990 with 40. The first second baseman to lead the league in homers since Rogers Hornsby in 1925.”
Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.