Sandberg returns to Cubs camp as instructor

Hall of Fame second baseman to work with middle infielders

Sandberg returns to Cubs camp as instructor

MESA, Ariz. -- Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was in his familiar No. 23 Cubs uniform on Monday, joining his former team for workouts at the invitation of manager Joe Maddon.

"He was really eager to get back, and I was excited to have him," Maddon said of Sandberg, who played for the Cubs from 1982-94 and again from 1996-97. "He seems to really be in a good place and it'll be a blast to have him around, and we'll definitely rely on what he has to say."

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Maddon is hoping Sandberg will work with the middle infielders this spring.

"I want him to be comfortable and relax and enjoy his moment right now," Maddon said of Sandberg, 56, who compiled a 119-159 record in one full season and parts of two other seasons as the Phillies manager.

Sandberg joins other former Cubs Randy Hundley, Billy Williams and Rick Sutcliffe in uniform. Williams, 77, surprised Maddon a little last season.

"He's got a really contemporary sense," Maddon said of the Hall of Fame outfielder. "He doesn't miss anything. I could throw something out there thinking it'll bounce off the walls, and he gets it. He sees things, he's very sharp."

What's also impressed Maddon about Williams is that he can see game strategy.

"He does not miss anything," Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.