Ryne Sandberg, the Cubs' legend, was promoted to manage the organization's double-A team. He was rewarded for his strong performance as manager of the single-A Peoria Chiefs, and will now spend his summers coaching in Tennessee.
Sandberg is not only one of the best players to ever wear a Cubs' uniform, he is also one of the most loved. Thousands of people came out to Wrigley Field in June when his Chiefs took on the Kane County Cougars for the first minor league game to be played in the Friendly Confines. He could have easily enjoyed a carefree retirement, and made some extra spending money on the memorabilia show circuit. Instead, he chooses to deal with the grinding life of a minor league baseball manager.
Both Tennessee and Peoria are part of so-called bus leagues, minor league baseball leagues that are made up of small towns that don't have airports. Even if they do, the teams don't have the budget to fly from game to game. With the Chiefs, he would stop in Cedar Rapids, Beloit and Fort Wayne in the Midwest League. Now, in the Southern League, Sandberg, a Hall-of-Fame, will be on a bus visiting towns such as Birmingham and Mobile when many of his contemporaries will be on the golf course.
His dedication to the Cubs and the game of baseball is what drives Sandberg:
Sandberg was not obligated to stay in the game. He brought the Cubs enough good memories to last a lifetime, but he is still determined to still contribute to the organization. Though he hung up his cleats years ago, he is still working to bring the Cubs a World Series title.