Ryne SandbergRyne Sandberg (born September 18, 1959) was an American baseball player.
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 Chicago Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus prior to the 1982 season.
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 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 Eastern Division title, and won Most Valuable Player honors.
Sandberg established himself as a perrenial all-star and gold glove candidate, making 10 consecutive all-star appearances and winning 9 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1983 to 1991. His career .990 fielding percentage is a major league record at second base.
In 1990, he lead the National League in home runs--a rarity for a second baseman--with 40, but he never duplicated the success of his 1984 season. Sandberg is the only player to have both a 40-homer (1990) and 50-steal (1985) season during his career. He played a Major League Baseball record 123 straight games at second base without an error.
After struggling early in the season, Sandberg briefly retired in 1994. He came back for the 1996 and 1997 seasons, retiring at the age of 37 with a career batting average of .285 and 277 home runs as a second baseman, the most in baseball history.
Sandberg is considered a candidate for induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.