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1982 HEADLINE: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Ryne Sandberg

1982 HEADLINE: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Ryne Sandberg

On this day in 1982, Ryne Sandberg became a Chicago Cub.

The Cubs sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandberg and Larry Bowa.  Prior to the trade, Sandberg played in 21 games for the Phillies and made 6 plate appearances.  For the record he has 1 hit as a Phillie and a batting average of .167.

What the Cubs got over the next 15 major league seasons was brilliance.  Sandberg immediately filled a void at second base and quickly became the star and leader of the team.  With excellent defense, superb base running, and skill at the plate, Sandberg’s talents made #23 a fan favorite very quickly.

During his time in Chicago Ryne Sandberg was a 10-time All-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and a 7-time winner of the Silver Slugger trophy.  He also won the National League MVP award in 1984 due to his .314 batting average, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 32 stolen bases.

Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  His #23 waves proudly in the air above Wrigley Field!!!

Thank you Philadelphia!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: PICK ONE: Ryne Sandberg OR Jeff Kent

Hall Of Fame Debate: PICK ONE: Ryne Sandberg OR Jeff Kent

For the first time, Jeff Kent will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.  And while we still have more than eight months to wait to see who ultimately is elected among the new/repeat players in that group, this week we will focus on the career of Jeff Kent.

And as I like to do, I will compare Kent to a player that I feel he matches up well against.  This time around, that player is former Cubs’ second baseman and Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg.

Like Sandberg, Kent was tops among second baseman during his playing days, so this should be a fun comparison.

Let’s get right down to it.  Here is a side-by-side:

  Kent Sandberg
Seasons 17 16
Games 2,298 2,164
On-Base % 0.356 0.344
Batting Average 0.29 0.285
Hits 2,461 2,386
200-hit seasons 0 1
150-hit seasons 7 9
Doubles 560 403
Triples 47 76
Home Runs 377 282
40+ HR seasons 0 1
30-39 HR seasons 3 1
RBI 1,518 1,061
100-RBI seasons 8 2
30 HR / 100 RBI seasons 3 1
Runs scored 1,320 1,318
Stolen bases 94 344
All-Star 5 10
Gold Glove 0 9
Silver Slugger 4 7
MVP 1 1
Postseasons 7 2
World Series appearances 1 0
World Series wins 0 0

*

When looking at these numbers, there are quite a few similarities in their career totals.  And there are some drastic differences too.

Sandberg was a more accomplished base stealer, defender, and appears to have been a more popular player based on his 10 All-Star Game selections.

Kent was the greater slugger and run producer of the duo – easily out-distancing himself from Sandberg in home runs and run production.  Kent also appeared in the playoffs seven times compared to Sandberg’s two times.

Jeff Kent Photo

So, that takes me to this week’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’, and it is two-fold – (1)If you had to choose the better player based on his career accomplishments, who would you choose? (2) Is Jeff Kent worthy of Hall of Fame induction?

For me, when comparing the two, I can go back and forth quite a bit.  While their on-base and hitting numbers are eerily similar, there are major parts of their offensive game that are not.  Sandberg was much faster on the base paths than Kent, easily outpacing Kent’s career stolen bases by a ratio of more than 5:1.  The same could be said for Kent’s power production – his doubles, home run, and run production is much stronger than what Sandberg offered.  This could have a lot to do with where the player spent his prime years in the batting order on his team, but with the numbers so far apart, it is clear that Kent was more of a threat to drive the ball and knock in runs than Sandberg.

After careful, and exhaustive review, I believe that the better all-around player was Ryne Sandberg.  His base stealing and defense separate him from Kent, and those two parts of the game are simply impossible to ignore.  If I wanted one player at the plate with a man on second in a tied game, I would select Kent every time, but as far as what the player provided to his team, Sandberg was simply able to offer more due to his base running ability and defensive skills.

And now onto the conversation about Kent’s Hall of Fame future…

When I think about the greatest second baseman of the last 40 years, Jeff Kent’s name certainly creeps into the conversation.  And to be honest – there are not that many standout players for that position.  I believe that they all take a back seat to Joe Morgan, but after that you can say that Sandberg or Roberto Alomar or Jeff Kent is next.  And at some point in the near future, the name of Robinson Cano may be part of that conversation too.

Ultimately, I think that Jeff Kent will gain Hall of Fame induction, and I am on board with that.  He had a very solid 17-season career that included 7 playoff appearances.  He took certain aspects of offense to another level that no other second baseman has, and that should be recognized.

While not someone who I would select on his ‘First Ballot’, I endorse Jeff Kent for Hall of Fame induction!!!

Gavel

What do you think?  Who is the more accomplished player – Jeff Kent OR Ryne Sandberg?  And while you’re at it, tell me if you feel that Jeff Kent is worthy of Hall of Fame induction.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great night!!

1982 HEADLINE: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Ryne Sandberg

1982 HEADLINE: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Ryne Sandberg

On this day in 1982, Ryne Sandberg became a Chicago Cub.

The Cubs sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandberg and Larry Bowa.  Prior to the trade, Sandberg played in 21 games for the Phillies and made 6 plate appearances.  For the record he has 1 hit as a Phillie and a batting average of .167.

What the Cubs got over the next 15 major league seasons was brilliance.  Sandberg immediately filled a void at second base and quickly became the star and leader of the team.  With excellent defense, superb base running, and skill at the plate, Sandberg’s talents made #23 a fan favorite very quickly.

During his time in Chicago Ryne Sandberg was a 10-time All-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and a 7-time winner of the Silver Slugger trophy.  He also won the National League MVP award in 1984 due to his .314 batting average, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 32 stolen bases. 

Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  His #23 waves proudly in the air above Wrigley Field!!!

Thank you Philadelphia!!!

 

1982 Headline: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Sandberg

1982 Headline: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Sandberg

On this day in 1982, Ryne Sandberg became a Chicago Cub.

The Cubs sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandberg and Larry Bowa.  Prior to the trade, Sandberg played in 21 games for the Phillies and made 6 plate appearances.  For the record he has 1 hit as a Phillie and a batting average of .167.

What the Cubs got over the next 15 major league seasons was brilliance.  Sandberg immediately filled a void at second base and quickly became the star and leader of the team.  With excellent defense, superb base running, and skill at the plate, Sandberg’s talents made #23 a fan favorite very quickly.

During his time in Chicago Ryne Sandberg was a 10-time All-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and a 7-time winner of the Silver Slugger trophy.  He also won the National League MVP award in 1984 due to his .314 batting average, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 32 stolen bases. 

Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  His #23 waves proudly in the air above Wrigley Field!!!

Thank you Philadelphia!!!

 

1982 Headline: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Sandberg

1982 Headline: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Sandberg

On this day in 1982, Ryne Sandberg became a Chicago Cub.

The Cubs sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandberg and Larry Bowa.  Prior to the trade, Sandberg played in 21 games for the Phillies and made 6 plate appearances.  For the record he has 1 hit as a Phillie and a batting average of .167.

What the Cubs got over the next 15 major league seasons was brilliance.  Sandberg immediately filled a void at second base and quickly became the star and leader of the team.  With excellent defense, superb base running, and skill at the plate, Sandberg’s talents made #23 a fan favorite very quickly.

During his time in Chicago Ryne Sandberg was a 10-time All-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and a 7-time winner of the Silver Slugger trophy.  He also won the National League MVP award in 1984 due to his .314 batting average, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 32 stolen bases. 

Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  His #23 waves proudly in the air above Wrigley Field!!!

Thank you Philadelphia!!!

 

1982 Headline: Cubs Obtain Phillies’ Sandberg

On this day in 1982, Ryne Sandberg became a Chicago Cub.

The Cubs sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandberg and Larry Bowa.  Prior to the trade, Sandberg played in 21 games for the Phillies and made 6 plate appearances.  For the record he has 1 hit as a Phillie and a batting average of .167.

What the Cubs got over the next 15 major league seasons was brilliance.  Sandberg immediately filled a void at second base and quickly became the star and leader of the team.  With excellent defense, superb base running, and skill at the plate, Sandberg’s talents made #23 a fan favorite very quickly.

During his time in Chicago Ryne Sandberg was a 10-time All-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and a 7-time winner of the Silver Slugger trophy.  He also won the National League MVP award in 1984 due to his .314 batting average, 200 hits, 114 runs scored, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 32 stolen bases. 

Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  His #23 waves proudly in the air above Wrigley Field!!!

Thank you Philadelphia!!!