On This Date in 2005: Ryne Sandberg voted into Hall of Fame

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On this date in 2005, after receiving 76.2 percent of votes, Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg was voted into the Hall of Fame. It was Ryno’s third year of eligibility. Joining him in the 2005 class was former Red Sox and Yankees third baseman Wade Boggs, who got in on his first attempt.

Sandberg, the 1984 NL MVP, was a 10-time All-Star, a nine-time Gold Glove winner and a seven-time recipient of the Silver Slugger award. Of his 282 career home runs, 277 came while playing second, a then-record at the position.

The Cubs acquired the Hall of Famer in a deal now seen as one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. With an already crowded infield in Philadelphia, the Phillies traded middle infielder Larry Bowa and Sandberg—a player many in the Phillies organization viewed as a utility man at best—for Ivan DeJesus.

In Ryno’s MVP season of 1984, he hit .314/.367/.520 (AVG/OBP/SLG), had 200 hits, stole 32 bases, slugged 19 home runs and had 36 doubles. He also had a league best 114 runs scored and 19 triples. That season also included the famous “Sandberg Game.” On June 23, with the Cubs hosting the rival Cardinals in a nationally televised game, Sandberg had what many view as his breakout game.

With the Cubs trailing 9-8 in the ninth inning and facing shutdown closer Bruce Sutter, Sandberg ripped a solo home run to left to force extra innings. In the top of the 10th, St. Louis managed to score a pair. But with a man on in the bottom of the inning, Sandberg hit another home run to tie the game. The Cubs would go on to win in the 11th inning.

Defensively, he owned a career .989 fielding percentage, the highest of any second baseman in history. Sandberg also set a positional record for a single season (1989) when he went 90 straight games without committing an error. He extended that streak to set another record with 123 errorless games over two seasons (1989-90).

In Sandberg’s 16-year career, he had a .285 average, 1,061 RBI, 2,386 hits and a 64.9 wins above replacement total.

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