Dallas Green was everything that baseball was thought to be in 1900s. Hard work, passion, charisma, and drive to succeed in the sport. He pitched, he coached, and he managed.
While not as efficient during his playing career with the likes of the Phillies, Senators, and Mets, he managed to lead the Phillies to their first ever World Series in 1980. Soon after, the Chicago Cubs signed Green on as the GM in hopes of turning around the franchise. The 80s Cubs were nothing compared to today, but Green did his part in continuing the Cub’s tradition and spirit.
Green established a new culture in Chicago, creating the phrase: “Building a new Tradition.” Through Green’s effort, the Chicago Cubs ended a 39-year playoffs drought in 1984. Part of that run was due to Green trading for Rick Sutcliffe in June of that season. The eventual Cy Young winner went 16-1 and led the Cubs to the National league East title.
“Dallas Green had an eye for talent. Our fans can credit him for acquiring and drafting several of the most accomplished players to wear a Cubs uniform, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux and Ryne Sandberg, as well as All-Stars like Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe,” said Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “Green was not afraid to make bold moves in pursuit of winning, and in 1984, led the Cubs to their first postseason appearance since the 1945 World Series. He will forever hold a meaningful place in Chicago Cubs history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we mourn his passing.”
Coming from the Phillies, he knew the players. So Green dealt some players for a minor league infielder called Ryan Sandberg in his first offseason in Chicago. Sandberg became a star, earning 10 All-star game appearences, NL MVP in 1984, 9x Gold Glove winner, and 7x Silver Slugger, and would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
The Farm system was a big part of Green’s tenure. He developed standouts like Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux, and Mark Grace. And it was Green who pushed for lights at Wrigley. And shortly before Green resigned as GM and president in 1987, the city of Chicago approved for lights to be installed at Clark and Addison in 1988.
While Green did not bring a world series to Chicago, he helped further develop the Friendly Confines culture and brought talented players to Wrigley Field.