It was 25 years ago today

Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg made is bones to a national TV audience exactly 25 years ago today. Then a whispy, relative unknown to most fans outside Chicago, Ryno hit not one, but two game tying home runs off of former Cub Bruce Sutter in a thrilling victory over the rival St. Louis Cardinals. According to the box score, Ryno finished the day going 5 for 6 with 7 RBIs.

Back in 1984, cable TV was still in its infancy so the only time you could see a game outside your market was on a network Game of the Week. On June 23, 1984, Sandberg and the Cubs team sent a message to the baseball world that they were a contender that season. Ryno came to bat in the 9th and 10th innings against one of the game’s premier closers, Bruce Sutter with his 1.66 ERA. He homered in both at bats to tie the Cardinals in a game the Cubs would eventually win 12-11 in 11 innings. It was dramatic, it was a hot beautiful day at Wrigley, it was a storybook ending. No one even remembers the Cards’ Willie McGee (a real Cub-killer) hit for the cycle.

This game as much as any other both solidified the Cubs as a contender and served notice that Ryne Sandberg was an all-star.  He would the season as the NL MVP, no doubt due in part to his performance in this game.

Rick Kaempfer over at posted his first hand account of this game on YouTube

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    June 23, 2009  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: awards, game day, game recap, oldschool, on this date, other Cubs sites, players, rivalries

    2 Responses

    1. Mike from a Humble Cubs Fan - June 23, 2009

      Ryno was my favorite player on that team and 1984 is my favorite Cubs team. I guess it’s because that was the first year the Cubs made the playoffs in my lifetime.

    2. A Crosstown Classic Film - June 24, 2009

      My first baseball card was Ryno!

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