Ron Santo passed away yesterday according to the Tribune. The man passed never having seen a Cubs World Series championship and never having gotten his much-deserved induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. If he was a believer in Christ Jesus as his savior, though, he’s finally in the one club that matters.
During the last decade or so of his life he was truly inspirational. Being a long-time diabetic the last 15 years or so were filled with multiple surgeries, including the amputation of parts of both legs. I attended opening day several years ago, after his first such surgery, and watched him walk by himself out to the mound to throw out the first pitch before the game. To say the crowd loved him would be a massive understatement.
He was also an unapologetic fan of the team. In his second career as one-half of the Cubs’ radio broadcasting team he wore his emotions on his sleeve and every shout of joy or groan of frustration reverberated through the radio and hit every fan square in the chest. Such blatant home-team loyalty – you can’t imagine him broadcasting for any other team and he likely wouldn’t even have entertained such an offer – is exactly what made him great to listen to.
He’ll be truly missed by Cubs fans who knew him as a player or as a legend and broadcaster.