Baseball Hall of Famer, Spokane native Ryne Sandberg announces cancer diagnosis

Jan. 22—Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman and Spokane native Ryne Sandberg announced through social media on Monday he has been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and has started treatment.

"To my Chicago Cubs, National Baseball Hall of Fame, extended Baseball Family, the city of Chicago, and all my loyal fans, I want to share some personal news," Sandberg wrote on Instagram on Monday. "Last week, I learned that I have been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. I have begun treatment, and I am surrounded by my loving wife Margaret, our incredibly supportive family, the best medical care team, and our dear friends."

"We will continue to be positive, strong and fight to beat this," Sandberg continued. "Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for me and my family."

Sandberg, 64, was a 10-time all-star during his 15 seasons for the Chicago Cubs from 1982 to 1997, amassing 282 home runs and 344 stolen bases. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1984. After his playing career, he served as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013-15, going 119-159. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Sandberg was a three-sport star at North Central High School and graduated in 1978. He was named to Parade Magazine's high school all-America football team, one of eight quarterbacks. He signed a letter of intent to play football for Washington State but opted to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies after being selected in the 20th round of the 1978 MLB draft.

Sandberg came up through the Phillies organization and made his MLB debut with the team in 1981. He was traded to the Cubs prior to the 1982 season.

In retirement, Sandberg has been a goodwill ambassador with the Cubs organization, making public appearances during spring training and regular season games.

"We cannot imagine how incredibly tough it is right now for Ryne and his family, but we do know Ryne is one tough competitor and a winner," Cubs senior vice president Julian Green told ESPN. "We are rallying around his family with locked arms as they begin their journey to conquer this battle with cancer."

The Cubs are scheduled to unveil a statue of Sandberg at Wrigley Field on June 23 on the 40th anniversary of his most memorable game with the team, when he hit game-tying home runs in the bottom of the ninth and 10th innings and had seven RBIs in Chicago's 11-inning, 12-11 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.