Well, Ryno, today is the big day. Cooperstown. Congratulations. Thank you for doing it well and doing it with class. We end this miniseries, an excerpt from Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace with thoughts of his later years with the Cubs and the philosophy which made all the difference.

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After I retired the first time, we made a couple trips to Wrigley Field in í95. I think it was the last series of the season against Houston, and it came down to the last weekend of the season whether the Cubs were going to make the playoffs or not. It was just fun watching. I was going on 36 years old at the time and thought maybe itíd be nice to go back and play a couple more years.

At one point we were watching the game and Margaret says, ìYou want to go back and play, donít you?î I donít know if I was thinking that. I think I wouldíve been thinking that a day or two, or maybe a week later. She caught it early. I said, ìYeah, I think I do.î

It wasnít long after that that we called the Cubs and worked things out, and before I knew it, I was telling everybody I was coming back.

We were coming back as a blended family and let Margaret experience that, and have all the kids experience that together, and do the whole thing for a couple years. It was very worthwhile. She loved it. She still loves it. I used to go to the family room after the games, and they had had a great time at the game.

Thatís what itís all about. Winning isnít everything. Itís pretty big as a player for the team, but for the fans and the families, they just had a great time coming to the games. They were entertained and they had fun. I think that kind of rubbed off on me ñ this is a fun game. I think players sometimes forget that.

If there was one thing that I would express to players now itís to have fun. It is a game, and they need to remember that every now and then. It is tough, and the grueling schedule and all that, but every now and then if they just remember youíre supposed to be having fun out here and it doesnít last forever. It is a game. Iíd like to tell them that.

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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