Looking at the career of former Phillies player and manager Ryne Sandberg
Seven years ago this month, the Philadelphia Phillies parted ways with their all-time winningest manager Charlie Manuel and replaced him with Ryne Sandberg.
As it would turn out, Sandberg, a Hall of Fame infielder, would manage just 278 games in red pinstripes from 2013 to 2015 — his first and only stint as a big-league manager.
While Sandberg’s days as a skipper were short-lived, he truly had a great playing career, which spanned between 1981-97. Here’s a look back at his career and accomplishments.
Ryne, or “Ryno” as he was nicknamed, played with the Phillies in 1981. He then went on to play with the Chicago Cubs between 1982-94, and then again in 1996-97, before retiring. His last game at Wrigley Field was September 21, 1997.
Sandberg had a career average of .285, an on-base percentage of .344, and an OPS of .795, with 282 home runs and 1,061 RBI spanning 2,164 games and 8,385 at-bats.
Throughout his Hall of Fame career, Sandberg was the 1984 National League MVP, a 7-time Silver Slugger Award winner, 9-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a 10-time All-Star.
In 2005, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, along with Wade Boggs. And, the same year, his jersey No. 23 was retired by the Cubs, becoming the fourth member in franchise history to have his number retired.
Two years later, starting in 2007 and through 2010, Sandberg coached in Chicago’s minor-league system. He started with their Class-A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs, and then moved up to their Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies in 2008. Ultimately, in 2009, Sandberg was promoted to coach their Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs. There, he posted an 82-62 record.
Sandberg returned to the Phillies organization in 2011 as manager of their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Before becoming Phillies interim manager and eventual manager, replacing Manuel, Sandberg had been promoted to Phillies infield instructor and third base coach.
Taking the helm from the 2008 World Series skipper mid-season, Sandberg would go on to post just a .428 winning percentage (119-159), before resigning in 2015 after a 26-48 start. He took the Phillies losing record that year personally. The 2014 season (73-89) was his only full year.
Later, in 2016, Sandberg returned to the Cubs once again as an ambassador, bringing him back to the club he entered the Hall of Fame with.
Sandberg’s path from then to now has clearly undergone several peaks and valleys. And, while “Ryno’s” managerial career did not work out, it does not take away from his on-the-field accomplishments as a player.