Life is a winding road and every corner presents the opportunity for a different horizon, so surprises are in the eye of the beholder. Still, we did not wake up this morning expecting to learn that Ryne Sandberg is a big marijuana guy now. And yet the Chicago Tribune is out with a dive into his newfound interest in the product.
The Cubs legend, who spent 15 years excelling near the greenery of ivy-covered walls is now lending his voice to another game-changing plant as a celebrity endorser for Verilife.
Just how dramatic of a shift is this for the slugger? Well, he hadn't had a single puff until just a few months ago.
Sandberg, 61, whose All-American image and on-field heroics cemented his place in Cubs lore, is arguably one of the greatest second baseman in baseball history. He's also one of the least likely celebrity endorsers of cannabis, having never tried weed until this year.
"I really didn't know anything about it, I didn't have any interest in it," Sandberg said. "Now it's every day sometimes as I'm looking for something to take the edge off."
Based on several conversations I've had during the pandemic, Sandberg's new foray is not entirely unique. Something about being trapped at home for a year with an added layer of existential stress drove people to make some changes in this department. With Illinois one of 17 states with fully legal marijuana, the market is rapidly becoming fully mainstream. And the customer base may look a lot more like Sandberg — a guy who waited six decades to dabble — than most people think.