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.