Much wasn’t expected when Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg took over as manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
The IronPigs had never had a winning season in their first three years of existence. In fact, they had never had a record over .500.
But Sandberg turned everything around and had the Lehigh Valley buzzing.
The IronPigs finished the 2011 regular season with an 80-64 record and made the International League playoffs for the first time.
They advanced all the way to the Governors’ Cup finals where they fell to the Columbus Clippers three games to one.
While the season did not end like many IronPigs fans would’ve wanted, it was still an amazing accomplishment. To take a team that previously wasn’t capable of winning and have a terrific season like Lehigh Valley did, praise has to go to Sandberg.
It is an especially fantastic accomplishment because the Phillies had so many injuries and were calling up IronPigs left and right. Guys like Vance Worley, Domonic Brown, Michael Stutes, and Michael Schwimmer all spent time in the big leagues this year.
Sandberg’s success could put him in line for a manager job in the major leagues if he keeps the turnaround going next season.