Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg has been promoted to manage the AA Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League. He has spent the last two season with the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League.
"For me, it's an excellent opportunity advancing up the ladder with what I'm doing now in baseball," Sandberg stated. "I appreciate the opportunity the Cubs have given me these past two years, and I am looking forward to the challenges in taking this next step and being successful in Tennessee."
Pitching coach Dennis Lweallyn, hitting coach Tom Beyers and athletic trainer Nick Frangella were also added to the Smokies' coaching staff for the 2009 season.
"Ryne has been a great ambassador for the game over his career as a player, manager and Hall of Famer, and we welcome him to East Tennessee." Smokies General Manager Brian Cox said. "We are excited our fans will get the chance to see a Cubs legend every night this summer at the ballpark."
As a member of the Cubs, Sandberg was the 1984 National League Most Valuable Player, hit .285, was a 10-time NL All-Star, seven time Sliver Slugger Award winner, and won 9 Gold Gloves.
Here's a pic of Sandberg last season signing some cards for my kids while managing Peoria.
He's my son's favorite so he'll miss seeing him at the games in Grand Rapids.