The Cubs have made a lot of dumb trades over the years but they got one back when they dealt with Philadelphia for a shortstop and a throw-in named Sandberg. The primary acquisition for the Cubs at the time was this weekís feature player, Larry Bowa. This excerpt is from Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace.

Bowa

We worked a lot together. There are a lot of people out there who think Ryno happened to be a good player. He worked at his trade. When he first came over, they didnít know if he was going to play second, third, – Dallas [Green] had him in center field for a couple of games in spring training.

People donít realize that he was a good athlete. You can golf with him, heís outstanding, go bowling with him, you can play basketball. Everyone called him ìThe Naturalî because of how easy he made things look on the baseball field. He was a natural but he worked at it. He was as big an instigator on our team as anybody, but he did it in a very quiet manner. Rynoís one of those guys, he didnít let too many people into his world, but once he got to know you, he was a lot of fun to be around.

In spring training we were supposed to be there the 20th and we were there like the 5th. Him and I would go out and have somebody hit us ground balls, ground balls, ground balls. I think he had a good work ethic when he came to the Phillies and he realized how hard it isand how important the work ethic was when we went to Chicago together. Even when I had retired and I came over with the Phillies, Iíd watch him and his work ethic was the same. Heíd take his ground balls, work on the double play, heíd work on bunting. He did everything.

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Regular writer for View From The Bleachers in 2005-06; Turns 50 this summer; Met Ernie, Billy and others back in 70-72; AKA VFTB Chaplain; Pastor in Pennsylvania when not obsessing over the Cubs; Wishes no harm to any opposing player; Married 26 years to a wonderful woman. Favorite player is Ryan Theriot