This Day in Baseball History: June 13th, 1994

“Ryno” was always a fan favorite, and he was one of the first players I knew about.

On June 13, 1994:

Ryne Sandberg walks away.

On June 13th, 1994, Ryne Sandberg was having the worst season of his professional career. Sandberg was hitting .236/.312/.390, and this was on the heels of his second-worst season, one in which his power disappeared. He was a notoriously slow starter (hitting a career .230 in April), but his slow starts never really lasted into May or June like this one. Sandberg woke up on the 13th, and without telling his wife, he went to manager Tom Trebelhorn and told him that he had lost his passion for the game and was going to retire.

By doing so, he forfeited most of the $28 million contract he had signed in 1992, one of the richest in baseball history at that point. The 34-year old said that money never drove him, his love for the game did. Other people close to Sandberg believed that his marriage had something to do with it. Sandberg was close with his children, but it was believed that his marriage had begun to discenegrate. In a later interview, Sandberg would repeat that that wasn’t the case, either.

Whatever the reason was, it kept Sandberg away for a season and half. In 1996, he came back with renewed vigor. Though he only hit .244, his power came back and hit 25 home runs. The following season, his average rose 20 points but hit 13 fewer home runs. Sandberg retired for the final time as a 10-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, 7-time Silver Slugger, and sure-fire Hall of Famer. His home run record for second basemen would be broken by Jeff Kent.

Trivia Time
June 13th was an off-day for the Cubs, but how did his replacement do the following day?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Jimmie Foxx (’32 and ’33), Hal Newhouser (’44 and ’45), Yogi Berra (’54 and ’55), Mickey Mantle (’56 and ’57), Ernie Banks (’58 and ’59), Roger Maris (’60 and ’61), Joe Morgan (’75 and ’76), Mike Schmidt (’80 and ’81), Dale Murphy (’82 and ’83), Barry Bonds (’92 and ’93, ’01 through ’04), and Frank Thomas (’93 and ’94). Ron wins with 7. Well done.

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One Response to “This Day in Baseball History: June 13th, 1994”

  1. Dan Says:

    This was the first big news story I read about first on the internet.

    My guess is Rey Sanchez. I vaguely recall him having a big day, so I'll guess that he had the greatest day in the history of Rey Sanchez. 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBI.

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