For Phillies fans, this is definitely one that got away.
He was a 20th round pick in the 1978 MLB draft. He steadily worked his way through the Phillies minor system playing in Helena, Spartanburg, Reading and Oklahoma City in four seasons. By 1981 he was ready for the majors and got a september call-up, but the Phillies did not have any room in their championship lineup for him. In January 1982 frustrated by their inability to get Larry Bowa to sign a new contract, the Phils traded Bowa and Sandberg for Cubs shortstop Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies scouts at the time told GM Paul Owens that Ryne "wouldn't be any more than a utility infielder". It turned out to be one of the worst deals in major league history.
The primary players in the deal, Bowa and DeJesus played out the rest of the careers in mediocrity. However, Sandberg established himself as a Cubs legend. He won 1984 National League MVP award. He made 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and won nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major league record at second base. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
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