Former Cubs general manager Dallas Green dies at 82

CHICAGO – Before the Cubs could think about breaking their World Series drought, they had to snap their long absence from the postseason itself.

That was nearly 40 years when Dallas Green took over the Cubs general manager position after the 1981 season, coming in with new ownership in hopes of changing the team’s fortunes.

Indeed that’s what Green did, and in Chicago he’s remembered after his death at the age of 82 on Wednesday. The Philadelphia Phillies, whom Green managed to a World Series title in 1980, confirmed the news.

Green helped to build the Cubs into a winner after taking over the club starting with the 1982 season. He brought over a number of his former Phillies players with him to Chicago, including outfielders Bob Denier, Gary Matthews and Keith Moreland. Green’s biggest deal was acquiring a then unknown infielder named Ryne Sandberg from Philadelphia in a deal that also brought over shortstop Larry Bowa in exchange for Ivan DeJesus.

That core would help the Cubs to a 96-win season in 1984 and their first National League East Division title. That was the Cubs first postseason appearance since they won the pennant in 1945 – ending a 39-year drought for the franchise. In the National League Division Series the Cubs would take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five against the Padres but dropped the series after losing three-straight in San Diego.

Green was promoted to President of the Cubs after the season but never matched the success of 1984. After three playoff-less seasons, Green resigned both positions.