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‘Light at the end of the tunnel’: Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg happy to be at Wrigley Field

2 weeks agoStaff Report

The last three months haven’t been the easiest for Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg.

But Monday, there was a sense of optimism.

“Things have gone well, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Sandberg told Marquee Sports Network’s Chris Emma. “It’s right there. It’s right in front of me.”

Diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer back in January, Sandberg was at Wrigley Field on Monday for the Cubs home opener and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game to Adbert Alzolay. He was flanked on both sides by fellow Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Andre Dawson, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins.

“Happy to be here, no doubt,” Sandberg said. “Another Opening Day. It doesn’t get any better than Opening Day. You don’t wanna miss these for the world.”

Sandberg has been undergoing chemotherapy to combat the cancer. He’s kept fans updated on his progress through social media and has felt the support of the fanbase throughout his journey.

“Just appreciate the fans with all their support that they’ve been giving me the last three months,” Sandberg said. “The fan support always goes a long way with me, so I was just happy to be out here and be in front of them and they’ve been pulling for me through what I’ve been going through on social media.

“It’s been overwhelming.”

As Sandberg continues his treatment, he’s excited to follow along a Cubs team with plenty of promise.

“I like the team, I like the young guys,” Sandberg said. “There’s gonna be some young talent. There’s gonna be some help from the minor leagues, I believe.

“I believe it’s gonna be a group effort. Like last year, I think there’s gonna be some good surprise players and I know that they’re gonna play the game right way with [manager Craig] Counsell at the helm.”

Seeing Sandberg throw out the first pitch to usher in a new season at Wrigley Field, Counsell felt it was a significant moment.

“Ryne was a really important Chicago Cub,” Counsell said after the Cubs’ 5-0 win over the Rockies. “I know he is going through some health battles right now. It’s funny, when he was walking out there, you could just tell he was a great player. There is a presence to the man. I know he’s a quiet, soft-spoken man. But there’s a presence to the man.

“From a health perspective, that he’s able to get out there and throw out a first pitch, I think it makes us all feel good.”

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