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Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Of The Past Century: No. 10, Ryne Sandberg's 1990 Season

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Chicago Cubs' Top 10 Of The Past Century: No. 10, Ryne Sandberg's 1990 Season

The Chicago Cubs have been one of the most successful franchises in baseball history, especially if you don't count the current 100 year championship drought.

Wrigley Field and the Cubs have played host to milestone wins, record breaking players, and outstanding achievements.

This series of articles counts down the 10 greatest accomplishments and achievements by the Chicago Cubs since their last World Series victory.

No. 10: Ryne Sandberg's 1990 Season

Ryne Sandberg was coming off of what could be considered his best year to date in 1989 when he hit .290 with 30 home runs and 76 RBI.

But it was Ryno's season in 1990 that ended up topping them all, even outdoing his MVP season of 1984.

In 1990 Sandberg crushed 40 home runs and drove in 100. He was two home runs shy of tying Davey Johnson and Rogers Hornsby's record for home runs by a second baseman in a season with 42.

Along with his impressive power numbers, Sandberg hit .306 with a .354 OBP, and had 25 stolen bases.

That year Sandberg led the National League in home runs (40), total bases (344), and runs (116). He was second in slugging percentage (.559) behind Barry Bonds (.565), second in extra-base hits (73) behind Bobby Bonilla (78), and third in the NL in hits (188) behind Lenny Dykstra and Brett Butler (192).

Sandberg also won his eighth consecutive Gold Glove during the 1990 season, compiling a .989 fielding percentage behind just eight errors.

Despite his outstanding season, Sandberg only finished fourth in MVP voting to eventual winner Bonds. He earned zero first place votes despite the fact that he only trailed Bonds in OPS and stolen bases.

Bonilla and Darryl Strawberry also finished ahead of Sandberg,

He trailed Bonilla and Strawberry in none of the major MVP stat categories.

Sandberg recorded these numbers on a Chicago team that finished 77-85, fourth place in the NL East. Meanwhile Bonds and Bonilla helped lead the Pirates to a 95-67 record to win the NL East.

Although Sandberg's 1990 campaign did not produce another MVP, it did set a new standard for second basemen. Sandberg possessed a rare combination of speed, power, and fielding that led him to nine career Gold Gloves.

His season also does not match those of teammate Sammy Sosa in the late 1990's, but his numbers from 1990 can still transfer over to the present day as MVP caliber stats, especially for a second baseman.

After the 1990 season, Sandberg was not able to reach the 30 home run plateau again, hitting 26 in 1991 and 25 in 1996. He reached the 100 RBI mark only once more in 1991, when he also won his ninth and final Gold Glove.

Even though he never produced the same numbers that he did in 1990, that season for Ryne Sandberg will go down as one of the best seasons in Chicago Cubs history and his illustrious, Hall-of-Fame career.

 

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