One of my childhood heroes finally gets the recognition he deserves. Ron Santo, the third baseman for the Chicago Cubs during the 60s and early 70s, will have his number retired by the Cubs before the game at Wrigley Field on September 28.
Santo spent all but one of his 15 seasons in the majors with the Cubs. He was an All-Star nine times, and he won five Gold Gloves. He hit 342 homers and had 1,331 RBIs during his career, and he led the league in walks four times.
He did all of this after being diagnosed with diabetes before his rookie season.
Santo kept his diabetes from the public. Most people, including many of his Cub teammates, didn’t know he had it. Since his retirement, the disease has claimed both of his legs, and he now walks with prostheses.
Ron Santo is a class act. His style as the color announcer for the Cubs radio broadcasts isn’t polished, but you hear his knowledge of the game, and his heartfelt love for the Cubs, through every inning.
He may have been passed over for the Hall of Fame, but the people of Chicago know he belongs. And Santo says, “That’s all that matters to me.”
I believe he means it.