I'm sure that to many of you the news of Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo passing away means very little, but I had to post something on the death of good old #10.
Santo was something of a polarizing figure in an already-polarized baseball town like Chicago. Even among Cubs fans, there were contingencies who did not care for his over-the-top, unapologetic passion for the team that dominated nearly his entire adult life.
I was not one of them. I loved Ron, regardless of how silly, cheesy, or loopy he could get on the air. For the last 15 years or so, the voices of Pat Hughes and Ron Santo were the narrators for my summers. When I think of warm weather I think of flip flops, lemonade, and Ron-and-Pat calling the Cubs game on WGN 720AM. I would turn down the volume on the TV and turn up the volume on the radio just to hear what ridiculous things those two would say to one another.
Ron was a partisan fan, but so am I. Ron could get irrationally emotional about the Cubs, but so did I. Ron had a youthful exuberance until the day he died, and I hope and pray, so will I.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will miss Ron Santo come April 2011. He was a kind and decent man in a sport (and world) that has grown increasingly cynical, cut-throat, and pretentious.
For more pics of the best 3rd baseman the Cubs ever had, click here.
For a wonderful radio highlights compilation of Santo's career, click here.
For more on some of the physical challenges Ron had to overcome in his life, watch this: