Chicago Cubs: The Hall of Famer could do it all as a player
Growing up as a little kid in Midlothian and Oak Forest, Van Halen and the Chicago Cubs were about the coolest and hottest things going in the early 80s. In 1984, both the band and the team were about as hot as could be, and Eddie and Diamond Dave had nothing on the guy who owned the Chicago diamond, Ryne Sandberg. What Eddie Van Halen could do on an axe was mirrored on the field when “Ryno” came to the plate or flashed the leather.
Sandberg is the best Cubs player of my lifetime, and his Hall of Fame status still has all of the current guys (who haven’t even come close to his career as of yet) beat by a large margin. A defensive whiz at the keystone, Sandberg could not only handle his glove, he could also run like a deer and great into his power as a guy who went from hitting lots of doubles and triples early in his career to a masher in the middle of his career.
Ryno was beloved by fans for his hard-nosed play, performance, and the fact that he never went anywhere else once coming over from the Phillies. He was a Cub for life, played on some of the most exciting squads in ’84 and ’89, and now has a flag flying at Wrigley. Heck, after an unsuccessful stint managing the Phillies, he’s even come back home and seems to have embraced being a part of Cubs history and who’s not thankful for that?