Ryne Sandberg started his big league career with 13 games for the Phillies in 1981. He backed up 35-year old shortstop Larry Bowa.
The Philadelphia brain trust did not project Sandberg as Bowa’s successor. In the minors Sandberg also played second and third base. The Phillies felt comfortable with Manny Trio at second and had Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt at third.
Sensing the need to secure a shortstop for the future, Philadelphia traded both Bowa and Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. The deal turned out to be one of the worst trades in Phillies history.
By 1984 Sandberg was the NL MVP. He reeled off ten straight All Star appearances and nine straight Gold Glove Awards.
Sandberg also performed well in the postseason. After helping lead the Cubs to the NLCS in 1984 ad 1989, he hit .385 with a 1.098 OPS in the Series’ losses.
When he retired he was Major League Baseball’s all-time homer leader among second baseman. Sandberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
In the collection is a signed Topps contract dated March 20, 1989. The deal calls for Ryno to appear on Topps cards through the 1992 season.