one of my favorite cubs of all time just behind ryno and erine
he we be missed not only by cubs fans like myself but by the whole chicago cummuinty great guy great radio broadcaster also
As a Cubs fan, I'm gonna miss listening to Ron on the radio. He may have stumbled through his words a lot of the time, but Pat and Ron really made me want to listen to baseball on the radio, and I don't even like watching baseball that much.
a comment to the espn.com wojo story on ronnie:
Why someone like Ron Santo is beloved and someone like LeBron is not - and why fantasy/roto is so popular today:
About Santo: "Cubs fans adored him because he was one of them. When the Cubs lost, he lost. When they won, he won. You could hear it in his voice during the game. You could see it in his face when he left the booth afterward, made his way down the narrow Wrigley Field press box hallway and down the two flights of stairs to the upper deck concrete concourse.
"He ate, breathed, slept, drank -- everything was the Cubs,'' said Masur."
Meanwhile, the 2011 Cavs - aka. LeBron's "boys" - laught it up with him as they lose a nearly 30-point blowout in a game where its obvious that the fans of Cleveland care infinitely more about the Cavs than the actual Cavs do.
On the one hand, totally identifiable passion, shared by player and fan/city... on the other passion by fans and cities that is the antithesis of the apathy, outright disregard, and lack of pride demonstrated by the players who play for teams representing those fans and that city... any wonder that, faced with that apathy, outright disregard, and lack of pride fans root for "their" fantasy teams instead of "their city's" teams and athletes?
RIP Ron Santo - not only was there only one Ron Santo - there are far too few Ron Santos around these days...
There is no way Ron Santo is 70....why wasn't he just playing a year or so ago??? Sure seems like it.
Elected to hall of fame today...disgraceful that they waited until he died...
By Nick Pietruszkiewicz
Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday with at least 75 percent of the vote from the Golden Era committee.
Ron Santo wanted this day for so long, and now that it’s finally here, he isn’t. The Hall of Fame call, the one he waited for and agonized over pretty much his entire adult life, came on Monday, but he’s no longer with us to answer the phone and hear this: “Ronnie, welcome to the Hall of Fame.” And that’s not right.
He was asked once, on one of the many days a new group of inductees was announced and he wasn’t among them, if he’d be OK getting a spot in Cooperstown, even if it came after he died. And, in that style that endeared him to generations of Cubs fans, he said “I don’t want to go in post-humorously.” Of course, he meant posthumously, but then an E-5 on words was part of what made Ron Santo.
I spent seven years in Chicago, covering the Cubs and White Sox, and to this day say the most interesting person I’ve ever covered was Ozzie Guillen. The most impressive was Ron Santo. And for so many people, Ron Santo didn’t belong in the Hall because he was one of the best third basemen of his generation. They didn’t want him in because of his 342 homers, 1,331 RBIs and 2,254 hits. I mean, those were good enough reasons. But so many of them wanted him in because he was Ron Santo.
I know it’s not the best baseball argument, and that writers who serve as gatekeepers to Cooperstown shouldn’t vote with their hearts with something as important as entry into the Hall of Fame. But all those people that wanted Ron Santo in for being simply Ron Santo, I get it. So no, this isn’t a piece about the numbers and the on-field credentials.
I admit that when I first arrived in Chicago, I didn’t understand what Ron Santo meant to the city, to these people, to Cubs fans and to those suffering from diabetes. To me, he was a shrieking, name-mispronouncing homer cluttering up a radio broadcast. Before his health rapidly declined, Santo took a few days off from Cubs broadcasts. In his absence, I wrote a column for the small suburban newspaper for which I worked, a piece saying what a break it would be for his partner, the classy Pat Hughes, to have a few days off from Ronnie’s malapropisms, from the recaps of his between-innings trips to the bathroom, from his butchering of the English language. I recalled some of his classic mistakes. (Note: Let’s get something straight, I wrote this before the leg amputations, before the bladder cancer, before the suffering reached the unimaginable levels it would in the years to come. I mean, even I’m not heartless enough to pick on someone fighting debilitating illnesses). People wanted me fired. Or shot. Or fired, and then shot. And you know, they had a point. All these years later, I regret nothing more in my professional life than that column. I was young and stupid. Mostly, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
No, these aren’t baseball arguments, but if you spent time around Ron Santo, you quickly realize you don’t think with your mind, you think with your heart. You don’t think the radio broadcast going off the rails is ridiculous; you think it fits, it’s perfect. (Here’s a brief, but oh-so-perfect sampling).
Photo Gallery: Santo
Santo A look at Ron Santo's life on the field and in the booth. Gallery »
Ron Santo was the crazy grandfather who overlooked your flaws; seriously, how else could someone love some of those awful Cubs teams the way Ronnie did. He was the voice of a fight, raising millions upon millions for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). He was a stubborn patient, the one who wouldn’t let the disease -- actually, the diseases -- keep him from living his life. I saw no-hitters and 60-homer seasons in Chicago; I saw a team on the other side of town win a World Series. Yet, the achievement that stands above all else was watching Ron Santo, on two prostheses, work his way down that steep flight of stairs into the Cubs’ clubhouse, finally get to the bottom and smile. Not complain. Never complain. Smile. Walk through the clubhouse and say hello to reporters and players and clubhouse staff, asking “How you feeling today, big boy?”
Oh, I saw or heard about some funny ones, too. About the hairpiece catching on fire in the booth at Shea Stadium. The countless drinks he spilled on his notes or the fax machine in the broadcast booth. And, oh, the mess he made with words. OK, so the man could never remember my last name. And so, to see what kind of torture we could put him through, his partners handed him a piece of paper during a broadcast so he could wish me happy birthday on the air. He looked at the 15 letters and fought for 10 minutes -- live on radio -- that there’s no way that “Pietruszkiewicz” was a real last name. I still have the tape. Listening to everyone laughing in the background might be the best birthday wish I ever got.
In a city that loved people with one name -- Jordan … Ditka … Sweetness … Ernie … -- it’s not an exaggeration to say the name they loved the most was Ronnie.
And in his life, too short but incredibly well lived, he wanted two things more than anything -- a World Series title for his Cubs and to hear someone say, “Ronnie, welcome to the Hall of Fame.”
I wish we could all see him push himself out of his chair on that stage this summer, surrounded by Hall of Famers -- fellow Hall of Famers -- and fumble and mumble and shriek his way through a speech that wouldn’t leave a dry eye anywhere in Cooperstown.
Yes, this is a happy day. It’s a sad one, too.
Nick Pietruszkiewicz is an editor for ESPN.com Follow him on Twitter at npiet_ESPN.
The HOF selection process has always annoyed me. An unnecessarily slow, arbitrary process. Not all of us have the luxury of waiting forever.
Ron is on record saying getting his number on the foul pole at Wrigley and retired meant way more to him than the HOF could ever mean. It is well deserved just about 10 years late IMO.
About a year too late baseball.
It's pretty sad when people go, oh god he's dead, we have to get him in the HoF now, when its either you decide he's a hall of famer or not. It just makes the baseball people look dumb, and they should self-evaluate how they do things.