Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Amputation of the heels he so famously used to click wasn’t enough, not even on top of an assortment of other ailments that included the diabetes through which he played his entire career.

A long stint as the Cubs’ ambassador to a whole new generation of fans wasn’t enough either.

And clearly the impressive resume he amassed as a player wasn’t enough by itself.

No, Ron Santo finally had to pony up his very life to get what he deserved and so craved; induction at Cooperstown. After he paid that price too, the contrivance known as the Golden Era Committee finally, belatedly in my view, did the right thing and let the man in. Now, after almost exactly a year in purgatory since he died on December 2, 2010, Santo can move on to the HOF; proof positive, if you need it, that there is such a thing as life everlasting.

I knew it would happen this way if it was ever going to happen at all. I bet Santo couldn’t pronounce the word ‘posthumously’ any better as it’s written than Harry Caray could backwards. But he sure as hell knows what it means. It means that he won’t get to celebrate with his family until such time as they’re all ever in the same place at the same time again, by whatever mysterious means such a thing might ever be accomplished.

I listened to Santo play on the radio with my dad. My own kids got his autograph when I took them to Wrigley Field. I was there the day his #10 was retired and I was there the night they unveiled his statue outside the ballpark. I toyed with the idea of going to Chicago for his funeral, just as I’m toying now with the idea of making my first ever pilgrimage to the Valhalla of baseball for his induction next summer. By then I expect I’ll have come to my senses – probably.

Understand that I feel obliged to write this. And I appreciate a forum on which to post it. Please indulge me and do not engage in a statistical dissection of his worthiness or lack thereof - enough of that already. Just let it be.

Too bad he didn’t get in while he was still alive but at least he did while I still am. I can check that item off of my Cub bucket list. Let’s see; there’s only one thing left…

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