Ryne Sandberg

Cubs cut Ryne Sandberg's No. 23 into Wrigley Field grass ahead of statue unveiling

The Cubs will reveal Sandberg's statue at Wrigley Field on Sunday

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The Cubs exchanged their lawnmowers for paint brushes on Friday, cutting Ryne Sandberg's No. 23 into Wrigley Field's center field grass ahead of their weekend series against the Mets.

The gesture from the Cubs comes ahead of a major weekend for Sandberg. The North Side will unveil Sandberg's statue at Wrigley Field on Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT).

Sandberg already has his classic No. 23 retired by the Cubs. Along with Sandberg, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Greg Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins also have their numbers retired.

Now, Sandberg will join a limited cast in having a statue at Wrigley Field. There's one to honor legendary broadcaster Harry Caray and another three to honor the Hall of Fame trio of Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams.

Sandberg said on 670 The Score on Friday he didn't give as much thought to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame as he has into earning a statue at Wrigley Field. But he's more excited about the memory it will preserve for Cubs fans.

"The way that I look at this, what a tremendous honor and gift from the Cubs and Tom Ricketts to myself and to my family and my friends," Sandberg said. "But ultimately, what a great gift to the Cubs fans and the baseball fans that will attend Wrigley Field games from Sunday on. And to have a statue there, in a way that's what I look at it. This is for the fans for me. It's something for the fans to look at and maybe reflect back to the 80s and 90s."

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