Drafted in the 20th round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978, Ryne Sandberg became one of the most regrettable trade chips in team history. As a youngster, Sandberg played shortstop, second base, third base and center field, but was blocked at each of those positions by a quartet of early 1980′s stars by the names of Larry Bowa, Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt and Garry Maddox.
Eventually, Sandberg, a Washington state native, was included as a throw-in, in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. As a second baseman for the Cubs, Sandberg excelled, becoming a 10-time National League All-star, a 9-time Gold Glove Award winner, 1984 NL Most Valuable Player and a Hall of Famer.
After decades away from the organization that drafted him, the 51-year-old Sandberg returned this year to manage the Phillies’ Triple A level club, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Through the weekend, the IronPigs sported the best record in the International League with a 44-32 mark.
Recently, I spoke with Ryne about the team’s success despite the constant rotation of player up and down from the big league level, a few new additions to the Lehigh Valley roster, his return to the Phillies developmental system and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full interview.
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can check out more content from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.