Sandberg unretires into immortality
Second go-round likely landed him in Cooperstown
NEW YORK -- If he hadn't become a born-again Major Leaguer, Ryne Sandberg understands, he wouldn't be on the verge of becoming immortal.Unretiring in 1996 and playing two additional seasons with the Chicago Cubs added 37 home runs to his resume, which pushed him past Joe Morgan's record of 266 home runs by a second baseman. That distinction raised him over the top in the minds of many Hall of Fame voters, who on Tuesday elected him to Cooperstown. But that was not the lure back into the game for Sandberg, who, beset by family issues and their affect on his declining performance, had abruptly walked away in mid-1994. A Hall of Fame rally was the furthest thing from his mind. "I felt the Cubs were on the verge of having a championship team, and the only remaining goal I had was to play in a World Series," Sandberg said. "So, I came back. "The reflexes were a little slower," added Sandberg, who was 36 when he dusted off his legendary mitt. "But I wanted one more chance to get to the World Series."
| 2005 Hall of Fame
The complete vote (516 ballots, 387 to gain election, 26 to remain on ballot):
Wade, Ryno are Hall choices
No doubts about Class of 2005
Boggs hits his way to the Hall
Ryno charges into Hall of Fame
Red Sox lavish praise on Boggs
Rays react to Boggs Hall call
From Beantown to Bronx to Hall
Sutter closing in on Hall of Fame
Boggs is fans' favorite to make Hall
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.