When putting together a list of most loved former players for the Cubs, Ryne Sandberg is almost certainly at or near the top of almost everyone’s list. The Hall of Fame second baseman is now returning to the Cubs in a new position.
Sandberg will be coming back to Chicago as a Cubs ambassador. The news was made official by the team on Thursday.
With the exception of a 13-game stretch with the Phillies when he broke into the big leagues, Sandberg played his entire career with the Cubs. During that stretch he reached 10 straight All-Star Games, won the 1984 MVP, won eight Golden Glove awards and seven Silver Slugger awards.
After retiring, Sandberg stayed with the game as a manager in the Cubs minor league organization in 2007. After being passed over by the Cubs for their managerial opening, Sandberg took the Phillies job midway through the 2013 season. He managed the Phillies into the 2015 season before being fired.
Sandberg will be the team’s first official ambassador, although Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ernie Banks had been de facto ambassadors for years. Sandberg will be in attendance at this weekend’s Cubs Convention along with a long list of current and former Cubs players.
Other Chicago sports teams have already started using former stars as ambassadors. The Blackhawks employ team legends Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito and Denis Savard. The Bulls hired on Scottie Pippen as a team ambassador, as well.