Ron Santo 1940-2010

 

Chicago Cubs great Ron Santo died last night here in Arizona.

A native of Washington, Santo signed with the Cubs prior to the 1959 season, was brought up to the big leagues as a 20-year old in mid-season 1960 after only one full season in the minor leagues, was immediately installed at the hot corner (replacing Don Zimmer), and never looked back. He hit 277/362/464 with 342 HR over a 15 year career spanning 2243 games. He won five Gold Gloves at 3B (1964-68), and was a nine-time All-Star. He did all this while battling diabetes. He was traded to the White Sox (for Steve Stone and three others) after the 1974 season when the "Durocher Cubs" were dismantled, and spent his final MLB season on the South Side. But his heart always belonged to the Cubs. 

Santo joined WGN Radio as a Cubs broadcaster in 1990, and just recently completed his 21st year behind the mike. While his emotional style of broadcasting irritated some Cubs fans, there is no denying his sincerity. He lived and died with each Cub win and loss. 

Santo had battled numerous physical prioblems over the past few years, including cardiac by-pass surgery, bladder cancer, and complications from his diabetes that resulted in amputation of both legs. He also had to deal with the continual disappointment of not getting elected to the Hall of Fame.

Despite the medical problems and other disappointments in his life (not the least of which was the Cubs failing to get to the World Series), Ronnie always was upbeat and as physically active as he could be under the circumstances. 

I became a Cub fan in 1960 when I was six years old. So Ron Santo and I go back a long way.

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Comments

One of the greatest Cubs players of all time. I always hoped that, in your lifetime, you'd either get to be enshrined in the players wing of Cooperstown or see the Cubs win the World Series. RIP.

He not only was one of the greatest Cubs of all time, he was the biggest Cubs fan ever. RIP

This is a sad day for Cub fans. One of my favorite Cubs.

RIP Ronnie. You are in the best "Hall of Fame" now.

RIP Ronnie. I know you are relieved of all the physical pain you have suffered in your life. You were a very strong man to put up a fight as long as you did to make millions of Cub fans smile. God bless your soul.

RIP 10, vaya con Dios.

He is truly beloved. A hero on and off the field, a Cub who really tried to bring a pennant to Chicago, in his later years he was a fan just like us. And he made being a fan fun. Rest in peace Ronnie. Listening to games will not be the same.

Ronnie can click his heels again. RIP #10. You were the best.

amen...

I became a Cub fan in 1960 when I was six years old. So Ron Santo and I go back a long way. --- me too, when I was 8. We're like ducklings who imprinted on the ballclub that season with a rookie third baseman. I didn't think it would affect me this much but Ron Santo's impact goes deep to the core of most Cub fans who've been along for the Santo ride. He will be missed.

AZP - we're the same age, you & i...feel like i've known ron santo all my life; all things considered [stats, medical circumstances, post-retirement role as an ambassador of the game]his exclusion from the HOF is a travesty to me; i think i hope he's not inducted posthumously though - that would deepen all of the past snubs...as my tcr bio notes, being there the weekend in '03 when the cubs clinched on saturday & #10 was retired on sunday was maybe my most memorable trip to wrigley...

He will be missed. He weathered a lot of adversity in his life with cheerfulness and grace and did some great things.

too soon...

My saddest thought as a fan was that my 3 week old son Ryan won't get to hear Ronny call games. Rest In Peace, Ronny. You are missed. Thanks for this, Phil.

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