CHICAGO – Missing from this weekend’s Chicago Cubs convention are Hall of Fame players Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg. Both were invited but had prior commitments. Former outfielder Sammy Sosa, on the other hand, still needs to mend fences with the team before returning.
“Sandberg has a personal thing, and Maddux had something with the (Texas) Rangers,” Cubs Director of Marketing Alison Miller said Saturday. “We’re also inviting them later in the season. Sandberg will be hard, given his manager duties.”
Maddux was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this month and is employed by Texas, while Sandberg is manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. It could have made for an awkward return to a fan convention, but the Cubs are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the division-winning 1984 team. Sandberg won MVP that season.
Maddux will return during the season as the Cubs are inviting former players back as the team celebrates the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.
“Maddux said he would love to come,” Miller said. “He’s expressed interest in coming to a game in early April.”
April 23rd is the date the team will actually celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first game, and Miller is hopeful Maddux can attend.
As for Sosa, the organization and player ended things on bad terms in 2004 when he left Wrigley Field before the end of the final game of the season. The Cubs traded him the following January. Owner Tom Ricketts believes Sosa will return to the organization one day.
“We have to work through some things before that happens,” he said.