Baseball and Integrity: 3 of 4

Ryne Sandberg– Nicknamed “the Kid Natural” (after the baseball movie “The Natural”) and also “Ryno” (for his unstoppable play), Ryne Sandberg was my childhood hero.  When I was 12 during Sandberg’s MVP 1984 season, I must have watched dozens of games on WGN- and I sat breathless every time Ryno made a diving stab at 2nd base and turned a double play.  Like Ernie Banks, Sandberg played for the subpar Cubs… never making a world series, usually finishing the season with losing records.  But Sandberg’s leadership, encouragement and enduring play gave his team, his fans and Harey Carey hope every year (Philippians 2:4,21).  He led the Cubs to their first postseason appearance in 40 years. Sandberg holds the record for consecutive errorless games and retired with the highest fielding percentage of any 2nd baseman.  He once went four years without a throwing error!  He left the game much sooner than most- and he did so out of integrity, not wanting to get paid millions of dollars for underachieving later in his career.  His Hall of Fame plaque sums it up for me: “A sure-handed second baseman with power and speed who dignified the game with his professionalism, quiet leadership and tireless preperation.” 

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