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June 15, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-06-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Wednesday, June 15, 1994- The Michigan Daily - 15

i

The Sporting Views:
Hate to see you go, Sandberg

By Scott Burton
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
As a longtime fan of the Chicago
Cubs - a franchise that proudly owns
the distinction of not winning a cham-
pionship since 1908 -I thought I had
gotten used to the pain.
When aroutine groundball eked its
way through Leon Durham's legs cost-
ing the Cubs a trip to the 1984 World
Series, I stoically laughed.
When they traded Lee Smith, the
best closer in the history of baseball, to
Boston for Hall of Scrubs Calvin
SchraldiandAlNipper,Ibarely sniffled.
When Greg Maddux, the best Cubs
pitcher since Hall of Famer Ferguson
Jenkins, signed with Atlanta, I ex-
haled a resounding "Ho-humm."
So why was it that on Monday,
when Cub second baseman Ryne
Sandberg announced his retirement,
my jaws dropped lower than the abyss
and I just about broke down in tears?
Let me take you back to June 24,
1984 to help explain. That afternoon, I
was innocently watching the Cubs play
theCardinalsonNBC's Saturday Game
of the Week (remember those?). And,
in typical fashion, the Cubs were los-
ing.

Butup stepped Ryne Sandberg -a
henceforth unaccomplished ballplayer
- to hit not one but two, late-inning,
game-tying homeruns off Cardinal
closer Bruce Sutter and miraculously
lead the Cubs to victory.
That day a legend was born. So
was an idol.
Soon after, I got a Ryno poster, I
got a Ryno rookie baseball card and I
put his number on the back of my little-
league jersey. I even swore to my par-
ents thatI was going to name my first-
born Ryne (I'm not kidding).
Ryne's career took off much as my
love for the Cubsdid. He won the MVP
in 1984, and earned 10 straight Gold
Gloves and nine All-Star berths.
But what made Ryne so special
wasn't just his individual accomplish-
ments.Muchlike Mr.Cub ErnieBanks,
what made him so endearing was the
way he perfectly embodied what a Cub
is supposed to be about-indeed, what
any baseball player should be about.
You see, Ryne never went to the
World Series, and was only on three
winning Cubs' teams in his 12-year
career. But throughout all that medioc-
rity that surrounded him, he simply

continued to play for all he was worth.
Even when other less-talented sec-
ond basemen throughout the years -
the Tomm Herrs and the Wally
Backmans - went on to earn rings for
more talented teams, Ryne didn't de-
mand a trade or whine about incompe-
tent managers or talentless teammates.
He just watched those players go by
into oblivion, while he played and
played, occasionally stopping to ac-
knowledge how much he appreciated
the loyal support of the fans.
And now, when Ryne felthe wasn't
earning hiskeep(the fourth-largestkeep
in baseball, by the way), he decided to
leave the game in dignity, on his terms,
before he became another legend-
turned-washout a la Steve Carlton.
So, yes, I am having a hard time
accepting that I'll never see him make
another routine 4-3, or hit a grounder to
the right side of the infield to advance a
runner on second, or sock a game-tying
homerun into the left-field bleachers.
But as hard as it is to say goodbye
to someone like Ryne, I know there is
something not quite as painful that will
come out of his retirement ...
See you in Cooperstown, Ryno.

Ryne Sandberg was legendary for his accomplishments at the plate as well as
for his steady glove at second base. Sandberg drove in 100 runs twice, and led
National League in homeruns in 1990 with 40. He also is the career leader
fielding percentage for second baseman with a .990 clip.

haven't lost at home since May 1, but For starters, it would be nice to see
3TADIUlV their fans were in the stands well them put an organ in the new park, a
ontinued from page 14 before they started their streak. minor detail the Indians seem to have
ield's charm. The hand-operated The Tigers aren't in such a bad missed. Andif there'sone thing Tiger
coreboard and ivy-covered outfield spot. They've got a team that's com- Stadiumhas over Jacobs and Wrigley,
ence are throwbacks and not annoy- petitive and fun to watch, along with it's the number of upper-deck seats it
nces, like Tiger Stadium's odd out- a loyal group of supporters. The club has, and the view from them.
Id dimensions and infinite ob- is also able to pick out exactly what's Sadly, that's about all Detroit has
tructed view seats. good and what isn't in the new stadi- on Cleveland and Chicago, at least
And while the Cubs have forgotten ums, as well as what to keep and what until they can put together a respect-
how to play winning baseball the past to pitch from the old ones. able ballyard.
half-century, they still know what re-
ally counts in the fan's mind. They stille
ally at 12 i n the same old roofless ballyard, Think You're Pregnant?
usually at 1:20 in the afternoon.
Of course, a good location doesn't " Free Pregnancy Test
hurt, and Wrigley Field certainly has * Information about pregnancy
t. The park sits on the lakefront in and options
e heart of Chicago, seemingly a " COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL
world away from the tough south side Pregnanc Counseling Cne
of town and Comiskey Park, home to H Cente
the White Sox. Women Helping Women
Detroit could learn a thing or two (313) 434-3088 (24 hours)
from the Sox, who have a three-year- 2950 Packard, Ypsilanti, MI (I Block East of Golfside)
old park and are the defending Ameri-
can League West champs, yet trail the
Cubs in attendance. Dong the Wing Thing
Luckily for the Tigers, their old
al Cleveland has proven how to do A IN T
t enew stadium thingright. TheIndi-
ans have been the laughing stock of
the major leagues throughout their
existence.
Enter Jacobs Field. Cleveland
opted not to go for such ballpark 'ad-
vancements' as retractable roofs and 20C.......a wing
Astroturf. Instead, the Indians built $3.25....p..pitcher Coors Light
an open-air stadium with grass. $5.00........pitcher Long Island
hat's more, everyone with a seat at I
cobs Field has a view of the action, Ice Tea
a far cry from the made-for-football NO COVER
Cleveland Stadium, their old park. 1220 S. University
It doesn't hurt that the Indians Cal, 665-7777 for deliveries

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1313-663-21 63j

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