Ryne Sandberg

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Ryne Sandberg
Number retired on 28 August 2005
Position Second Base
3B (133-gms)
SS (7-games)
CF (1-game)
MLB Seasons 16 (15 CHC;
13-games @ PHI)
Teams Cubs
Debut September 2, 1981 with Philadelphia
Final Game September 28, 1997 with Chicago
Total Games 2,164 batting (2,135 fielding)
LCS Appearances 1984, 1989
World Series Teams (none)
Allstar Teams 1984, 1985,
1986, 1987,
1988, 1989,
1990, 1991,
1992, 1993
Awards Gold Glove
(1983, 1984,
1985, 1986,
1987, 1988,
1989, 1990,
National League MVP (1984)
The Sporting News Player of the Year (1984)
Silver Slugger
(1984, 1985,
1988, 1989,
1990, 1991,
"Kid Natural"

Ryne Dee Sandberg (born September 18, 1959 in Spokane, Washington), nicknamed "Ryno", is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball who spent nearly his entire career with the Chicago Cubs. He was named after relief pitcher Ryne Duren, and is recognized as one of the best second basemen of all time. Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005.

Sandberg made his major league debut as a shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981. Thought to have little future with the club except as a utility infielder, he was traded along with shortstop Larry Bowa to the Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus prior to the 1982 season.

Template:MLB HoF 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 free-agent signing of 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 the first player to collect 20 doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases in the same season (a feat which has yet to be accomplished), led the Cubs to the National League's Eastern Division title, and won Most Valuable Player honors.

Sandberg established himself as a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove candidate, making 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and winning 9 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major league record at second base.

In 1990, he led the National League in home runs – a rarity for a second baseman – with 40. 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 major league-record 123 straight games at second base without an error.

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. Later, he admitted that he had been distracted at the time while going through a divorce. He came back for the 1996 and 1997 seasons, retiring permanently at the age of 37 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.

His nephew Jared Sandberg was a third baseman for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Since retiring, Sandberg has kept a low profile. In 2003 Sandberg accepted his first marketing deal since his retirement, agreeing to be spokesman for a Chicago bank. He also appeared on ESPN Radio 1000 as an analyst during the 2004 baseball season. He currently serves as a spring training instructor for the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.

He is writing columns on baseball for Yahoo Sports for the 2005 season. His columns have received criticism for having little substance and sometimes foolish statements, drawing comparisons to the analyst work done by Joe Morgan.

Becoming only the fourth Chicago Cub to have his number retired, on August 28, 2005, Ryne Sandberg had his number 23 retired in a ceremony at Wrigley Field, before a Cub's game against the Florida Marlins. He joins Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Ron Santo in the elite group.

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