Thru Cub Eyes: Ryne Sandberg (part 2)
In honor of Rynoís Hall of Fame induction tomorrow, we offer this special edition of Thru Cub Eyes. As all of the others, this excerpt is from Carrie Muskatís excellent compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace.
I drove to Wrigley Field with Rick Sutcliffe a couple of years. I drove with Jody Davis and Keith Moreland. The í84 team was special for that reason. Everybody got along, and it was a good bunch of guys. Weíd sit and talk after the game and analyze the pitcher we were facing the next day, or talk about that game that day and just relax. It was a close group.
When we were driving to the ballpark, first of all weíd check to see which way the wind was blowing. We had two or three flags weíd check every time when we drove down Irving Park Road. They were on some banks. As you got closer, then you really got an idea. Weíd just check the flag and have a game plan.
Wrigley has that atmosphere. Old time baseball. Thousand of players have been on that field, great players. Thereís such a tradition there, even going back to Babe Ruth. You get that feeling when you take the field there.
Second base was home for me. Once the game started, those were the best three hours of the day for me. Sometime in the minor leagues or my early years, I was told to work equally at offense and defense. I think I did that. I think I spent my time on the field and took my ground balls, and made the plays, and turned double plays. Then it was time to go in and hit, and it was all hitting. I took hitting and extra hitting and did whatever I had to do. It was fun to do both well, to be an all-around player, be a good base runner ñ just be the full package.
Thatís kind of what I worked at.