Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts took the stage at Cubs Convention on Saturday morning with a big announcement: Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg will get a statue at Wrigley Field.
Sandberg, 63, was enshrined into Cooperstown in 2005 and saw his #23 retired that same season. He will now join another exclusive club of Cubs legends to have statue built for them - a list that includes Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Harry Caray.
Sandberg's future statue will stand in Gallagher Way with many of his former teammates. Last season when they dedicated the Jenkins statue, they had officially moved all of the other player statues into Gallagher Way in a designated area. They had previously been scattered around the perimeter of the Wrigley Field property.
Ryne Sandberg was a longtime infield fixture for the Cubs
In terms of deciding the next Cubs legend to get a statue, Sandberg was a slam dunk. He played 2,151 games in a Cubs uniform, hitting .285/.344/.452 with 282 home runs, 1,061 RBI, 115 OPS+ and was a career 60.9 fWAR. Sandberg's 282 home runs ranks fifth on the all-time Cubs home run list and fourth in franchise all-time hits with 2,385. While he did not win a World Series, he brought home plenty of hardware. Sandberg was a 10-time All Star, won nine Gold Gloves, seven Silver Sluggers and was the 1984 NL MVP.
"It’s pretty cool because of the statues that are there already, I know all of them. Harry Caray and Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins — so to join them and be a part of that class and be a part of Wrigley Field for the fans is totally awesome. "- Ryne Sandberg, via Marquee Network
While he made his debut in 1981 with the Phillies, "Ryno's" Hall of Fame run began on June 23, 1984 in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. In that contest, he hit two game-tying home runs against Hall of Famer closer Bruce Sutter. From there on, he was a wildly popular figure on the North Side and consistently put up elite numbers.
There will no doubt be a big ceremony for the unveiling of this statue when it happens. Congrats to Ryne Sandberg!