January 29, 2017

Go Cubs Go

A charity event for the Children’s Home here in Peoria, IL.  Special guest David Ross (catcher) and Ryne Sandberg (Hall of Fame 2nd baseman).

This was a really great event and it was an absolute blast listening to these guys tell stories and answer a few questions. The 2 paintings you see being made auctioned for pretty big $$.  I don’t specifically remember, but Ryno’s went for 3,100.00 and David’s actually hit 5,000, however the auctioneer and artists cut a deal and the artist made a 2nd one of Ross and they each sold for 4,500.

My favorite portion of “story time” was when Ryno was telling us about the amazing game he had in 1984 against the Cardinals – an extra inning affair, where he hit 2 home runs off of one of the best CLOSERS in the game – Bruce Sutter.  The Cardinals had an 8-1 lead that game.  Steve Trout was pitching for the Cubs that day.  Ryne came up to the plate down 1 run in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, and hit a game tying HR off of Sutter.  Then, 2 innings later, with Sutter still pitching, Cubs down 2 runs, with 2 outs and Bobby Dernier on base after drawing a walk, Sandberg HOMERS again off of Sutter.  The Cubs score another run and win 12-11.  They take 1/2 game lead in the division over the Cards and never relinquished the lead the remainder of the season.  Sandberg goes 5 for 6 with 2 HR’s and 7 RBI’s.

Ross was hilarious, his response to Ryne telling this story was – “Wow!  Heck, I’m a career .222 hitter, so I’d be happy to get 5 hits in a month!”

Another tidbit or 2.  I recall Ryno being one of the most efficient 2nd basemen ever, with a crazy .98??? fielding percentage, but I didn’t realize he went over 7 YEARS without a throwing error.  Imagine that – that is absurd!  Also didn’t realize he was a big football prospect – he had many offers and when touring USC, Arizona, UCLA, etc…he said when he saw how huge those players were, it was baseball all the way.  And now his body still works, he has his faculties, etc….so he thinks he made the right choice.

In a nutshell – we had a blast, and these guys looked to have genuinely enjoyed themselves up there on stage.  We had a fabulous evening and great seats – thanks to Brad and his generosity.  Thanks again Brad – really can’t thank you enough!

Here are a few shots from the evening.  Note:  The blurry shot of the guy holding up the beer toast is Steve “Mongo” McMichael – former Defensive Lineman on the Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears (1985).

Click for larger size…