Ryne Sandberg turned an unquenchable work ethic and unwavering dedication into a Hall of Fame playing career with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies.
Now as a minor league manager, Sandberg is preaching those same values — including promoting the value of healthy lifestyle choices featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s new “Be A Superior Example” initiative — to a new generation of players.
As part of its fifth annual salute to Character and Courage, and in conjunction with the museum’s nationwide launch of the BASE program, the Hall of Fame will welcome Sandberg back to Cooperstown and share his stories of sportsmanship and integrity through a variety of programs, highlighted by an 1 p.m. “Voices of the Game” event in the Grandstand Theater on Saturday.
The 2012 Character and Courage Weekend celebration, taking place Oct. 5-7, is dedicated to the national launch of the BASE program — the new educational outreach initiative designed to promote healthy habits for individuals of all ages.
In addition to his participation in the program for museum visitors, Sandberg will also deliver the keynote address at a skills clinic on Saturday morning, for young athletes ages 7-18, with a special message promoting the values of sportsmanship, integrity and fair play. The clinic, which begins at 10:30 a.m. and features several activity stations promoting exercise and fitness, is free for museum visitors, but participants must register in advance by calling 547-0397. The clinic will be led by area educators, and Sandberg will deliver the concluding message of the program.
“BASE” promotes the benefits of four foundations — fitness, nutrition, character and fair play — to represent each of the four bases on the diamond. The program also educates students and adults about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances.
“It’s a daily commitment,” Sandberg, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee who has managed the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Phillies organization for the last two seasons, said in a media release. “It’s a dedication. It’s about getting the right nutrition. It’s about getting rest. It’s about taking care of your body because ultimately your body is going to be performing for you not only for a baseball season but in life in general.”