The Last Heel Click
Ron Santo, HOF. Bittersweet, yet hasn't that been the Cub way in Ronnie's life?
Vicki Santo, Ron's wife, in her acceptance speech today for Ronnie at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame ceremonies:
God, how he loved the Cubs and Cubs fans. He would be so grateful you came here today to share this with him.
And in his legacy, let it be known that here's a man who obtained the highest honor his sport can give while playing with an insidious disease. He was an inspiration, and he will continue to be an inspiration.
Thank you to Cub fans for being his friends, for being his family and for always being there for him. You will never know how much that meant to him. Thank you all from my heart for being here today for Ron. I look at his plaque here in Cooperstown, and I think you will all agree, it just feels right as a perfect ending to his remarkable journey.
I couldn't help of thinking of Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life," when the angel Clarence says, "Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" Ron never needed that lesson, but Ron left an awful hole for so many of us here today.
I always think of how Clarence enscribed that copy of "Tom Sawyer" that George Bailey holds at the end of the movie. "Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends."
Well, I don't know of anyone who had more friends than Ron Santo. This is not a sad day. This is a great day. Celebrate for Ron. Celebrate with us and celebrate with him. Because I am certain of few thing, but I am certain that Ronnie is celebrating with us right now.
Celebrate his journey. Celebrate his cause. Celebrate an amazing life. Celebrate Ron Santo's life. He truly had a wonderful life.
Hold back any sadness. Embrace the great memories. How does one celebrate? With a collective heel click.
WGN will broadcast the entire ceremony on WGN radio after today's game and on WGN-TV at 9:30pm CST.
UPDATE/Rob G: Tim/CubbyBlue sent this along, didn't get a chance to post it until now.
(Click on the image for a full size version)
I thought Vicki's speech was quite touching and am glad she didn't go the bitter route, instead focusing that this is a great day that he got in, not a sad day because Ronnie wasn't there. And mostly highlighting his struggles with diabetes and his ongoing work with the JDRF fund.
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.