Secaucus, NJ, December 15, 2011 – Hall of Famers and former Chicago Cubs Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg are featured in a new episode of MLB Network's Studio 42 with Bob Costas on Monday, December 19 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Throughout the hour-long interview filmed in Cooperstown, New York in July 2011, Dawson, Jenkins and Sandberg discuss the Cubs’ pursuit of a World Championship, their memories of the late Hall of Famer and longtime Cubs announcer Harry Caray, and their experiences playing for former managers Dick Williams, Billy Martin and Don Zimmer. During the interview, Sandberg comments on the Cubs losing the 1984 National League Championship Series against the San Diego Padres, Jenkins talks about the curse of the black cat during the Cubs’ 1969 season, and Dawson discusses signing with Chicago following the 1986 season. A preview of the interview can be viewed here.
Dawson, the 1987 N.L. MVP Award winner and eight-time All-Star, played for the Cubs from 1987-1992, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 and currently serves as a special assistant in the Miami Marlins’ front office. Jenkins, the 1971 N.L. Cy Young Award winner and 284-game winner, played for the Cubs for ten seasons (1966-1973 & 1982-1983), and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Sandberg, the 1984 N.L. MVP Award winner and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner, spent 15 of his 16 Major League seasons with Chicago (1982-1994 & 1996-1997). Sandberg was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and currently manages the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A Philadelphia Phillies).
Prior to Studio 42 with Bob Costas, MLB Network’s block of offseason programming will air, including Intentional Talk at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. ET, Clubhouse Confidential at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET, and MLB Network’s offseason show of record, Hot Stove, at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. ET.
Highlights from the conversation with Dawson, Jenkins and Sandberg include:
Sandberg on how a Cubs’ World Series title would matter to him:
I definitely want to be a part of that. I strived for that for 16 seasons with the Cubs, only went to the playoffs twice [out] of those 16 years, played on some other bad teams. But with the fan base there and the following across the United States, it’d be the greatest thing. With that, I think the pressure and the intensity there at Wrigley Field is something that maybe we didn’t even experience. I think it’s really turned up high there to the point where [there is] almost desperation to get it done.
I think the Cubs fans are wearing thin on the “Lovable Losers” title. … I think it’d be the biggest party ever for a winning team and the party would be all over the world.
Dawson on the Cubs’ pursuit of a World Series title:
I don’t believe in a curse. I think things have a way of manifesting itself and, in all honesty, I think it takes baseball people from top to bottom, key personnel to get where you want to be at the end of the season. I would like to really see that organization in a World Series. … It would change this country for a couple weeks because of how many Cubs fans you have around the country.
Jenkins on playing for former manager Billy Martin:
He was tough. He was tougher than a night in jail, and I’ve never been in jail. He just could aggravate people. He could just get on them. … When things weren’t right, he made them right. He was the kind of guy that would just get in your face quick. He hated excuses. … If you got an alibi, he didn’t want to hear it. Own up to it.
Jenkins on the infamous black cat game on September 9, 1969 against the New York Mets:
The grounds crew just got threw scraping the field, cleaning it up. Somebody threw a little kitten [on the field]. It wasn’t a cat. It was a kitten. … Why did it walk towards our dugout? I got no idea why and Ronnie [Santo] is on the on-deck circle, he kind of just looked down at it and then it stopped, for what I thought was ten seconds in front of our dugout. It looked in and then ran off. It could have went the other way towards the Mets’ dugout, but it didn’t. I don’t know why, but it didn’t.
Sandberg on his memory of the late Hall of Fame Cubs announcer Harry Caray:
He was doing a game and I was up, I took a horrible swing at a pitch. … I hit a weak fly ball to right field and it was in 1984. The outfielder and second baseman got out there, [there was] miscommunication, then the sun got in the way, the ball dropped in, and I’m standing on second base and Harry goes, “Holy cow, Sandberg is such a good player, he even uses the sun to his advantage.”
Dawson on playing in Chicago:
Had I not made the change going to a natural playing surface, playing in a media center, playing with the fans that really supported, represented the ball club, I wouldn’t be sitting here today [at the National Baseball Hall of Fame]. I think Chicago definitely catapulted me to that status.