TEN

Thoughts and tears.

#10. Third Base-MAN. Love of Wrigley Field. Putting his favorite charity, JDRF and Juvenile Diabetes on the map to show that athletes can deal with the disease. Ron's partner, Pat Hughes (Ron's been in the booth since 1990). Brant Brown, that gut wrenching, "oh-no" overlapping Pat's "he dropped the ball".  Aw, Jeez.  Entrepreneur and Restauranteur. Ron Santo Pizza. Acapulco Taco Pie. Williams-Santo-Banks. Rebel pal Randy and the real highlight of fantasy camps. Roomie Glen Beckert. Flaming Gamer, Pat: "there's smoke billowing out of the top of his head" (audio link). The classic Jack Brickhouse call was music to my ears: "back, back, back, Hey-Hey, a homer by Santo."  Harry Caray asking Ron, "when you go to bed at night with your lovely wife do you wear your toupee?" Cub captain.  Leo Durocher. Don Young. Belly flop slides into second base. Clicking Heels. Pat Hughes broadcast introduction: "Along with nine time All-Star, five time Gold Glove winner and Cub Legend..."

Ronnie's gone. He slipped into a coma Wednesday and passed away in the early hours of the morning on Friday reportedly due to complications of bladder cancer.

Paul Sullivan has one of the earlier confirmations online but I've listened to WGN radio interviews with David Kaplan and Spike O'Dell reminiscing. Overnight host on WSCR, Les Grobstein clearly struggled with his sadness when he heard the news.

In one of the greatest tributes a son can give his dad, Jeff Santo's movie "This Old Cub" gave us the insight as to just what made Ron tick. Ron Santo was what loving the Cubs is all about.

Thank you to Ron. We are honored that you shared so much of yourself with us.

UPDATE: Rob's thoughts after the jump, just trying to keep all this in one place.

Rob G:

I never met the man, but I felt like he was a dear friend.

He was a Cub - true and true - player,  broadcaster, fan. He lived the life that thousands of us dream of as children.

I didn't grow up watching him play, but I know I would have enjoyed it. Every rain-delay highlight, every Hall of Fame clip montage was a window into what should have been a Hall of Fame career.

We spilled lots of digital ink defending Santo's Hall of Fame case (well reader dcf did). I'm not sure the Hall of Fame deserves him now. It would almost feel like a cruel joke now. His words the day his number was retired, "This is my Hall of Fame" were pitch perfect.

The call - oh the call - funny, sad, relatable; the voice of thousands of Cubs fans funneled through his microphone.

His struggles with diabetes, his spirit and humor about his predicament were always inspiring to me.

I encourage everyone to read through the comments of this post and Arizona Phil's below. It's a celebration of his life and his accomplishments and most importantly, the memories he gave us watching the Cubs.

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It was reading TCR'ers descriptions of their reaction to Santo's reaction when Brant Brown dropped the fly ball, that made me wonder what I was missing in the radio broadcasts.

Trying to capture Santo's emotions, in my old Game Recaps, probably was the funniest writing challenge I've ever had.

Thanks, Ron. I love ya. Go Cubs.

Good to see you here, Trans, even under such circumstances.

Ah, jeez.

RIP Ronnie.

My first thought was, "Now he won't see the Cubs win it all."...which seems sadder than dying. God bless him.

That was my first thought, too. Thousands of Cubs fans have passed away without ever seeing the Cubs win a World Series, but somehow it seems more important and more tragic in Ron Santo's case. Rest in peace, Ronny.

RIP Ron. You provided countless hours of entertainment and you will be deeply missed. I am saddened in the fact that you never saw your name in the HOF and you never saw the Cubs world series. Once it happens, I will be the first to raise my glass to you.

So long, Ronnie. Your fan, kjk.

Boy this news has ruined my morning. I do take solace in the fact that Ronnie lived one heck of a life. I loved the guy simply because he loved the Cubs on the same level that I do. Thoughts and prayers to the Santo family.

RIP Ronnie. You will be missed

RIP Ron. I played 3rd base in growing up due to you, and you were my facorite Cub. A piece of my childhood is gone....

first link not working unfortunately

second link is classic Ron

who knows how much that Bill Singer story is embellished in the third link, but I'm choosing to believe it happened exactly like that.

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/sportsbe...

link 1 replacement...kinda/sorta...it shouldn't suck too much traffic off them, anyway.

it's on another blog, too, but this one seems to be an account holder who can put up with the traffic if it happens to spread.

Spring just won't be the same without hearing "Pat and Ron are on the air!" this March.

I'm not old enough to have ever seen Ronnie play, and honestly, he was not a great broadcaster, but no one will ever deny the passion he had for the game and for the Cubs, and that alone made listening to him doing Cubs games on the Radio a joy.

OH NO!

took the words right out of my keyboard...

I'm in shock.

Good Ronnie story in the Tribune:

"One of the rare times he saw Santo visibly upset, McDonough recalled, was after Frank Sinatra Jr. sang during the 7th-inning stretch years ago. As Sinatra left the booth, he turned to Santo and told him he thought Santo was one of the best pitchers he had ever seen. "Ronny lost it," McDonough said."

WGN Radio is talking about Ronnie all day, you can listen in on the web at Wgnradio.com. Great clips and stories.

something more than one life has ended...

one of my favorite santo anecdotes: santo's old 'roomie' glenn beckert was in the booth & they were reminiscing...got to koufax's perfect game vs. cubs in '65 & santo recalled a cub advance scout sharing how koufax was tipping his curveball when he threw it from the stretch...'and wouldn't you know 'roomie' we never got a man on base all day!' then santo & beckert laughed together like they were roommates again, out on the town having a few belts...i laughed out loud by myself just listening on the radio...

As Cubs fans, we're used to getting our hearts broken, but this is the worst. I heard last night that he probably would be gone within 24 hours; really terrible to hear and even though his passing was, ultimately, not a surprise, it still really hurts.

A few stories from the coverage on WGN Radio:

Pat Hughes on Santo after Brant Brown dropped the ball:

"After the inning ended I looked over and Ronnie had his forehead on the desk and wasn't moving. I thought he had died right there, so I poked him with my fingers to see if he was alive and he finally moved. After the game we were in the manager's office and I saw something that has never happened in American sports. The manager of the cubs, Jim Riggleman, put his arm around Ronnie and was trying to console him about the loss, Riggleman saying, don't worry, Ronnie, we're going to Houston and we're going to win and make the playoffs, and Ronnie just kept saying, 'how could he drop that ball?'"

Joe Girardi was on and said he and Santo became friends and would go to Northwestern football games together, but would have a hard time getting in because Santo always brought his dog. He said, "I love my dog and I'm not leaving him in the car, he's coming in to watch the game with us."

Pat Hughes told Girardi how much Santo loved him and was proud of him for winning the World Series with the Yankees.

Pat Hughes also said he was doing a radio commercial with Ronnie one day for new balance shoes, and Pat said, "These are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned", and Ron said, "Yeah, I remember how comfortable they were when I had feet."

the wgn feed is blocked on my computer @ work; thanks for the excerpts! wonder what the arrangements will be; something in arizona & chicago both do you suppose?

They said the Cubs should have an announcement later today. His wife said Ronnie wanted to return to Chicago. Not sure if he'll be buried here or in Arizona.

It's therapeutic to be here, on this page, sharing other people's memories of #10. The way wakes are supposed to be, I guess. My favorite memories of Santo involve watching him as a player, particularly on the rainy day at Wrigley when Santo, trying to stretch a single into a double, slid head-first into second base and got stuck in the mud, about four feet short of the bag. Thom Brennamann was on with Waddle and Silvy (ESPN Radio Chicago) this morning and spoke with obvious anger about how the Hall of Fame wrongfully deprived Santo and his family of the joy of his election and, if he makes it posthumously, how much less special the experience will be for his wife and kids and grandkids. Couldn't agree more.

RIP, #10.

ernie banks may have earned "mr cub" with his play and longevity of production with the cubs, but santo has his own claim for that reason and more.

added my thoughts to Dr. hecht's post

thanks for the therapy session in the comments, I'm in complete shock at how much this is bothering me today.

“Unbelievable battle that he put up, wasn't it?” Hughes said.

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20101203/s...

try to leave any baseball rumor, non-Santo comments to a non-Santo thread below such as:

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2010/12/01/cubs...

Thanks.

at my book release tonight i am going to read an excerpt about the day #10 was retired...people were crying in the stands...

Mike -- Wish I could be there. I'm sure I would enjoy it.

Good luck Mike. Try to keep it together.

http://twitter.com/CubsInsider/status/1078193...

RT @WGN_Radio Wherever u are today at 2:10pm CST John Williams is asking u to click your heels in honor of Ron Santo

"I'm not sure the Hall of Fame deserves him now. It would almost feel like a cruel joke now. His words the day his number was retired, 'This is my Hall of Fame' were pitch perfect."

yes to the above...

got to work this morning, fired up the computer...first thing i saw was an e-mail from a cardinal fan co-worker: "sorry to hear the news about #10..."

Some things transcend rivalries. A lot of people didn't enjoy Ronnie's broadcasting style, and maybe it would have been better for WGN just to have him in there cheering and jeering like all of us other fans instead of commenting, but I enjoyed him. There were a million times I'd turn on one computer and watch MLB.TV, turn down the sound, and then bring in my laptop or switch to a new browser tab and listen to WGN on that one. Partly because I liked Hughes but I loved Santo's background emoticons.

totally. i'm a huge mark grace fan and i cherish being able to hear him call games for ARZ rather than rarely hearing from him again.

grace is bringing up the bottom on the "skills" part of broadcasting, but as far as i'm concerned he can keep on murdering the job.

This site is the best therapy I could ask for today. The passing on Ron is the first time I believe that I cried for the death of somebody I didn't personally know. I loved baseball as a kid but during college the strike happened and I was one of those who drifted away. It was when I discovered Ron and Pat on some little AM station out of Iowa City that restored my love of the game. Thank you Ron.

WGN Radio has posted most of today's interviews and other Santo items on www.WGNradio.com/santo

They are also going to re-broadcast the Kerry Wood 20 strikeout game on Saturday at 1pm Chicago time, followed by the Ron Santo Cubs Confidential program at 3pm, and I think they said that would also run on Sunday at some point. It may pop up online at the link above.

They also have Santo's final interview on WGN, which was last week (Nov 28th).

So many funny stories on WGN today, got me out of my mourning and made me laugh and smile. Ronnie was such a funny, great, inspiring guy. I'm sure anyone who listened to him through the years felt like they knew him, because he didn't seem to have a different personality on the radio, he was just himself.

...Williams, Santo, Banks...the most exciting lineup of my childhood. "Comeon, Ronnie, hit one outta here!" Brickhouse would bellow. And he would.

I can't say the exact date I became a Cubs fan but I know Ronnie was at 3B that day. George Altman was in the OF and Ernie was at 1B. My first real memories of him was the lineup: Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Santo, Banks, Hundley, and Phillips. He wasn't my favorite Cub then, never really a big fan of his radio work, and could argue both sides of the HOF issue. However, he was the best third baseman (defensively) I ever saw in the NL and that includes Mike Schmidt. I agree with Rob G. that I'm a little surprised at my reaction at the news today, and would not blame the Santo family that should Ronnie ever make the HOF that they give the Veteran's committee the middle finger. Rest in peace, Ron, you've sure as hell earned it.

It may be too soon to speculate but I would love to have Moreland and Pat Hughes do the games next year.

Former Cubs, good analyst, carry on Ron's tradition.

Moreland did a pretty good job.

I wouldn't be against Pat Hughes carrying the broadcast himself either. Beyond Santo's guttural screams, Hughes was mostly doing the calls himself anyway other than trying to set up Ron with softball analysis on occasion.

Moreland was good. You know who else did a surprisingly good job filling in for Brenly was Todd Hollingsworth. I didn't care for him in the studio but when he did color commentary he was surprisingly good.

Pat Scully??

He could probably do it, but I think we would sound better playing off someone in booth.

No to Hollandsworth.

http://www.jdrfillinois.org/

you can make a donation in Ron's name if you're interested, some people have been passing it on amongst twitter. I threw $10 their way.

TeddyGreenstein Fave Santo story. Guy calls in bomb threat @end of awful '00 season. Plane evacuates. Santo, told it was irate Cubs fan:"I DON'T BLAME HIM!"

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?...

good tribute to Ron by Gene Wojo.

Good story from John McDonough on 670 this morning:

I had called Ronnie, and he said "just a second", and put the phone down. Then, for about 3 minutes, I hear his voice in the background -- he had picked up the TV remote and was talking into it. Once he realized his mistake, he swore, came back to the phone, and said "Sorry about that... I as talking into the f*cking remote control!"

HAHAHAHA!

That's awesome.

!

on MLB Channel's MLB Hot Stove (there is no MLB Live in the offseason) they're busy doing live TV without mentioning Santo yet...even in the intro.

it's kinda odd. this is a live show.

10 minutes in and it's all jeter + rivera...and now they're talking about dunn.

-edit-

11 minutes in he gets an update blurb from hazel mae...they're going to do a piece on him "a little later"

looks like a few tribute candles in front of the Marquee

http://www.cubworld.com/c=qiLleuQSBXj8FTW6wz3...

What do you say when one of your boyhood heroes dies?

Ron, Billy, Holtzman, Gayle Sayers, Butkus.

Those were my favorites, and one is now gone. When '69 rolled around, and I was stuck at Camp with no internet, radio, or up-to-date newspaper to rely on for current NL standings, I tried to find out scores from counselors and awaited with bated breath to hear if the Cubs were still in 1st.

I was glued to being a Cub fan year-after suffering-year after that. I stuck up for my Ron when getting into arguments with Oriole fans about Brooks Robinson. Was it his fault that the Orioles had the best pitching staff in baseball and other All Stars?

I posted in September that my wife and I were staying in the same hotel in Milwaukee as the team (unplanned) to celebrate our anniversary. Ronnie was on the couch in the intimate 1st floor lounge enjoying a beverage with a colleague. I had heard what a truly "classy guy" he was, but not having met him previously I did not really know this to be true.

Obviously, the first impression (often the last) of meeting a celebrity makes an indelible mark - deserved or not - on you and I cordially just went up to him and thanked him for all of his work on and off the field. I told him he was one of my favorites growing up. Then excused myself after a couple minutes. He was very kind and personable.

Returning to my wife across the room, I watched a drunk couple awkwardly force Ronnie to take pictures with him. It was sort of a "scene"- however, he still obliged them patiently, where as I would have punched the drunk slob in the face perhaps.

To his credit, and my sadness at his uncomfortably "trapped" situation, he excused himself from them and went up to his room.

R.I.P. #10

I can't remember a drive with my Dad to Wrigley, not chuckling to a Santo remark during the pre-game show. He'll be missed tremendously!

To #10

Little Cubster

http://www.cubworld.com/category/a_cubworld_cam/

Phil has a screen grab in his post below but can see people at Wrigley leaving a memorial for Ron.

One of the things I loved about Ron Santo was how he persevered through his diabetes, first to play, then later in life.

My maternal grandmother also had type I, and also passed from this world having had both legs amputated above the knee.

I marveled first-hand at my grandmother's strength, and I marveled through my radio at Ron's.

Ron Santo was, at least through my radio, a class act, a man and a fan who wore his heart on his sleeve, good bad or otherwise. You can't put into words how Ronny broadcasted a Cubs game, you just had to tell people to listen.

Thanks for everything, Ron.

#10, cheers.

Ronnie, you were my favorite Cub! A true class act, RIP Ronnie you will be missed.

Visitation for Ron Santo will be at Holy Name Cathedral -- 735 N. State St., Chicago -- on Thurs., Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.

Funeral service will be Fri., Dec. 10 at 10 a.m.

There will be limited public seating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, by visiting www.jdrfillinois.org and clicking on "Donate Now" or by calling 312-670-0313.

My favorite Santo broadcasting moment came either last year or the one before. He was watching a replay of a questionable play on the monitor as Pat was describing the play. He called out "oh come on...look at that...right there!"

When he called a game, he was watching the game with his friends, his fellow fans listening along with him. The Cubs will never find anyone who cares more about the team and the organization.

When I heard the news all I thought about was his number being retired, and his comment "this is my hall of fame." I remembered his emotion as he said it, and found myself trying to imagine the combination of joy, disappointment, sadness, and love for his fellow Cub fans. Then I realized I had tears in my eyes.

We'll miss you, Ronnie

Five Sun-Times writers and their tributes to Ron Santo. Morrissey, DeLuca, Wittenmeyer, Goddard and Ginnetti.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

and a Telander piece with four Santo stories...

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/telander/29459...

CCO has a nice compilation of a few Pat & Ron radio highlights including one where they are trying to promote Pat's Voices of the Game CD series and Santo hearing some fan yelling says, "they ought to shoot him" and another where Ron tries to get Pat to commit to vanilla or chocolate or strawberry cake but Pat only agrees to carrot cake.

http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2010/12...

I've been a little too depressed to write until now. Next season will not be nearly as enjoyable without the Pat and Ron Show. (Sigh) I loved that man.

Big-hearted, passionate, funny, tragic, loyal, one-of-a-kind. A real human being.

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