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Posts Tagged ‘peoria chiefs’

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

You’ve likely seen it by now on SportsCenter, your local news or on your favorite sports blogs: the infamous minor league fight between the Cubs single A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs and the Cincinnati Reds’ affiliate, the Dayton Dragons. The video is being forwarded to millions of inboxes every day. These same Chiefs take on the Kane County Cougars at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Tickets to the Cougars-Chiefs contest at the Friendly Confines start at just $5; so here’s a chance to see the baseball cathedral on the cheap. The Chiefs are currently managed by Ryne Sandberg, an iconic figure for a whole generation of Chicago Cubs fans. The 2005 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee is considered to be one of the greatest second baseman in history. Sandberg had no part in this infamous brawl though because he was away in Cooperstown for the annual Hall of Fame weekend ceremonies. Sandberg’s fill-in, as well as the Dragons’ manager, were both ejected.

I caught up to Sandberg right before his Chiefs visited the Chicago area to start a three game set with the Cougars earlier this month. I asked him about all the fans that swoon around him at every minor league game. “I sign autos for about 20-30 minutes every single day whether we’re at home or on the road. Since its Opening Day last year the routine hasn’t stopped. I hear all the stories about grandparents and great-grandparents. Everyone’s a fan of mine and the Cubs; so I see all the pictures of me posing with these kids when they were three or four years old and now they’re in the 20s and 30s standing there in line for autographs. It takes me back, looking at the old stuff, seeing what these people collected and bring out of the closet. Some days I’m amazed; other days it’s the same stories repeated, it’s all good stuff,” Sandberg said.

I’ll be at Wrigley on Tuesday night attending Sandberg’s pre and post-game press conferences. Before I find my place in the press box, I’m going to be a guest on the MILB Radio podcast, which will be broadcasting live from the Cubby Bear. If you’re going to the game or going to be in Wrigleyville, please come by and check out all the baseball-related fun!

For part two of my Ryne Sandberg interview click here. For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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The Sports Bank, NBC5 Street Team

Ryne Sandberg is an iconic figure for a whole generation of Chicago Cubs fans. The 2005 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee is considered to be one of the greatest second baseman in history. His #23 is just the fourth number ever retired by the Cubs organization. He retired in 1997, after spending nearly his entire career as a Cub. He is currently the manager of the Cubs single A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs. Large crowds of individuals that “bleed Cubbie blue” follow him wherever he manages. Goose Island even brewed a special beer in honor of Sandberg, “the Ryno 23” during the year he was enshrined in Cooperstown. I caught up to him right before his Chiefs visited the Chicago area to start a three game set with the Kane County Cougars. The two teams will meet again on July 29th at Wrigley Field (7:05pm) for the first minor league game in the park’s storied history.

Ryno’s thoughts on the Cubs recent trade with the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Rich Harden: “I really like what’s going on there and the way they continue to make moves to really give themselves a good chance. I like the way all the pieces are in place right now and they seem to keep adding pieces and want to get better. Hopefully, this will help for making a good second half and lot of good postseasons.”

Sandberg also discussed some of the interesting things he’s doing next week: “I’m going to the All-Star game, the Hall-of-Famers are being presented before the game. I’ve never been to Yankee Stadium so that will be a treat. They’re doing a parade down 5th Avenue with all the Hall-of-Famers before the game, and then some of us are invited to the White House on the Wednesday after the All-Star game…then the following week I’m going to the Hall of Fame inductions for four days.”

You can see his Peoria Chiefs take on the Kane County Cougars on Thursday July 10th and Friday July 11th (both games start at 6:30pm) at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva, IL. Also, if you’re looking for a chance to see a game at Wrigley Field on the cheap, tickets to the Cougars-Chiefs contest at the Friendly Confines start at just $5. 

For part one of the Full Interview click here.

For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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