This news shocked and saddened me. Wept throughout my attempt to read the article. Of course I knew about his health problems due to his diabetes, but I was unaware he also had bladder cancer. Impossible to capture how much he will be missed.
I don’t have many memories of Ron Santo as a player, though I’m sure I watched him on WGNTV and perhaps even saw him in a game at Wrigley. But I wasn’t even born in his rookie year (1960) and was only 3 when he started his string of Gold Glove Awards in 1964. By 1969 I was certainly a Cubs fan . . . who could forget that heartbreaking year? (Still hate those Mets!) Too bad those Hall of Fame Knuckleheads didn’t manage to give him his due and elect him to the Hall before he died.
What I remember most vividly is Ron’s voice on WGN-Radio with Pat Hughes, the two of them painting a picture of the game as it unfolded so those of us on the other end of the radio waves felt like we were there with them. If you tuned in late you could always tell how the Cubbies were doing just by the tone of Ron’s voice. His mood directly tied to the fortunes and misfortunes of his beloved Cubbies. And whenever there was a gap in the lineup of seventh-inning stretch singers, there was Ronnie, pitching in with gusto to lead the fans in our anthem, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. It’s “Root, root, root, for the CUBBIES, if they don’t win it’s a shame . . .”
And please talk to the Big Guy Upstairs about letting the Cubs win a World Series.