CHICAGO – There are always a few surprises at the Cubs Convention, and that was certainly the case for one of the franchise’s most popular players in history.
On Saturday morning, team chairman Tom Ricketts announced that Ryne Sandberg will become the latest member of the team to have a statue in his honor outside of Wrigley Field.
The Hall of Fame second baseman will become the sixth member of the franchise to have a statue, joining Ernie Banks, Harry Caray, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams. Sandberg’s tribute will be in Gallagher Way with the other players and is expected to be ready in 2024.
Caray’s status remains behind the bleachers on the corner of Waveland Avenue and Sheffield Avenue.
Traded to the Cubs before the 1982 season, Sandberg became one of the most popular members of the team for a generation of fans. He was a ten-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove and seven-time Silver Slugger award winner.
In 1984, Sandberg was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player as he hit .314 with 19 triples, 19 homers, 84 RBI, while winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards. He’d help the Cubs to the Eastern Division championship that season, the first playoff appearance for the club since 1945.
Sandberg would continue his production through that decade, helping the Cubs to the division title again in 1989 and leading the National League in homers with 40 in 1990.
Midway through the 1994 season, he announced his retirement but would return for the 1996 and 1997 campaigns before stepping away from the game for good. Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2005