• Wikimedia Commons/Joel Dinda
  • Ryne Sandberg, back in the days when he was managing in the low minors for the Cubs.

One of the best pieces of news at the end of the baseball season is that Ryne Sandberg is being promoted to third-base coach next year for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Sandberg has managed the Phillies’ Triple-A team the last two seasons, and all signs point to him succeeding Charlie Manuel as big-league manager when his contract runs out at the end of next season.

After a Hall-of-Fame career with the Cubs, Sandberg has put together a good record managing in the minors, and it’s a pity he won’t return to the majors in Chicago—either as manager or coach.

It’s unusual, in this day and age, for a Hall of Famer to return as a coach or manager. Come to think of it, it’s unusual in any age. Back in baseball’s dark ages—before free agency—Hall of Famers made their reputation on the field and were rewarded afterward by businesses eager to put them in ceremonial positions. Nowadays, of course, a player who has put together a Hall-of-Fame career has had ample opportunity to make a lifetime’s worth of money on the field, and Sandberg was for a time the highest-paid player in the majors.