The Tennessee Smokies, Double-A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, proudly announce today Cubs Hall-of-Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg will be the Smokies’ manager for the 2009 season. Joining Sandberg on the 2009 staff will be pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn, hitting coach Tom Beyers and athletic trainer Nick Frangella.
“Ryne has been a great ambassador for the game over his career as a player, manager and-Hall of-Famer, and we welcome him to East Tennessee,” Smokies General Manager Brian Cox states. “We are excited our fans will get the chance to see a Cubs legend every night this summer at the ballpark.”
Sandberg arrives to the Smokies following two seasons as manager for the Peoria Chiefs (Low-A), leading the Chiefs to 71-68 and 60-78-1 records in 2007 and 2008, respectively. His managerial career with the Cubs follows a legendary one as a player. The 1984 N.L. Most Valuable Player hit .285 with 282 home runs and 1,061 RBIs over 16 seasons, mostly with the Cubs. Sandberg was also a 10-time N.L. All-Star and seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner. His career .989 fielding percentage (tops in MLB history among second baseman) helped him earn a total of nine Gold Glove awards. All of which led to his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
“For me, it’s an excellent opportunity advancing up the ladder with what I’m doing now in baseball,” Sandberg says. “I appreciate the opportunity the Cubs have given me these past two years, and I am looking forward to the challenges in taking this next step and being successful in Tennessee.”... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.