On this day in 1982, the Cubs acquired an unheralded 22-year-old third baseman along with shortstop Larry Bowa from the Phillies in exchange for Iván de Jesus. Bowa would go on to bat .223 with no homers and 17 RBI for the ’84 NL East Champs while the third baseman would eventually slide over to second and become one of the greatest ever at the position. It’s safe to say the Cubs won that trade.
Ryne Sandberg vaulted onto the national stage with an epic game on June 23, 1984 against the Cardinals, but his season was much more than just Bob Costas calling homers. In addition to capturing the NL MVP, Sandberg won his second of nine consecutive Gold Gloves and the first of his seven Silver Sluggers. His 8.0 fWAR that year was the highest of any second baseman in the 80s, with Willie Randolph‘s 6.5 in 1980 sitting in a distant second.
That’s the kind of thing that gets people to name their kids after you.
Team chairman Tom Ricketts surprised the Hall of Famer during Cubs Convention by announcing that the team has begun planning a statue of Ryno’s likeness that will join other legends in Gallagher Way in 2024. You can bet I’ll be there for the unveiling with my son, Ryne, by my side.