Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A great honor for a Cub great

I only wish Ronnie was alive to see it!

I adored Ron Santo. I grew up on him! He wore the #10 in Cubbie Blue for 14 seasons, encompassing the seasons from when I was in pre-school and continuing through my junior year in high school. On the North Side he had a career batting average of .279 and more than 335 home runs. These stats are not earth shaking today, but remember, this was in the 1960s and early 1970s -- NO STEROIDS. He also played in four consecutive All-Star games, including his rookie season, and won five consecutive Gold Glove Awards at third base.

He did all of the above while battling diabetes. Think about that.

In retirement, he became the voice of the Cubs on the radio and was a complete delight. I loved having Ronnie in my head every summer as I wore my headphones and listened to him add passion and knowing observations to each game. He was also a tireless and influential fundraiser for JDF.

He wanted this honor badly. It came a year too late. As always, baseball holds life lessons for me. I must thank the people I appreciate NOW, when I can.

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