No more Mr. Nice Guy


During his 16 year career with the hapless (sorry fans, including George Will) Chicago Cubs Ryne Sandberg was a quietly outstanding player.  Unlike some of his (nameless) team mates and (ditto) colleagues who had their tantrums and pettiness,  their flourishes and flash, Sandberg was a solid all around player——at the bat and on the field.  Off the field too——no wild stories about him partying, no holding out for zillion dollar contracts.
Thus his Hall of Fame induction speech  Sunday made headlines in sports mad Chicago when the always mannered Sandberg criticized  the self promotion that has infected some parts of the game he loves.

"They tell me I played the game the way it was meant to be played," Sandberg said. "I don't know about that. I just know I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit—and—run and turning [double plays] is more important than knowing where to find the little red light [on] the dugout camera."

... "Guys hit a home run when their team is five runs down and they're pointing at the sky, pointing at the camera—it drives me nuts.

"I'd like to see a lot more team concept, more 'we,' not 'I.' Coming up when I did, players talked about the team more than they did individual accomplishments. I was taught that the name on the front of your jersey was a lot more important than the name on the back."

Hey, that holds true in real life too. 
Ethel C. Fenig   8 02 05