Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Ryne Sandberg

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Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport /

A year after a beloved Chicago No. 23 returned to the hardwood; another No. 23 triumphantly returns to Wrigley.

After remaining retired through the 1995 season, fans rejoiced as Sandberg returned to the team for the ’96 season.

While the Cubs managed to win only 76 games in his comeback season, Wrigley was undoubtedly glad to have No. 23 back on the field.  Ryno didn’t disappoint either, smashing 25 home runs and driving in 92 RBIs.

Raising his batting average to .264 and still providing a productive season with 12 home runs and 64 RBIs, 1997 proved to be Ryno’s swan song season, again retiring from baseball.

During his career, Sandberg had a .285 batting average and a then-record of 277 home runs by a second baseman, which wasn’t broken until Jeff Kent in 2004.

In 2005, Sandberg was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.  Always being a good teammate, he couldn’t help to campaign for calls for former Chicago favorites, Andre Dawson and the constantly overlooked and snubbed, Ron Santo.

The same year, the Chicago Cubs retired Sandberg’s No. 23.  He was just the fourth Cub ever to receive the honor behind Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Santo.