Sandberg's baffling managerial wait

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Ryne Sandberg takes a brief hiatus from his managerial duties each July and heads to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. It's a nice opportunity to play some golf, relive old memories and enjoy the membership privileges of the game's most elite fraternity.

For several years, Sandberg relished the time in upstate New York catching up with Gary Carter, another Hall of Famer who was pursuing the same goal of managing in the big leagues. Sandberg, the quiet, focused guy, and Carter, the chatty extrovert, shared their experiences in the minors, from the rigorous travel to the challenges and rewards of working with young players.

"He seemed to be frustrated with the lack of movement upward with the Mets organization, so he spent some time in independent ball," Sandberg says. "We compared notes, and I know that he was pulling for what I was doing."

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