Friday, December 3, 2010
Boys, you know that we are Cubs fans, there is no having to remind you. Sometimes I think that you are more dedicated than I am. So, today was a very sad day for our household. Ron Santo, former Cubs 3rd baseman and Cubs announcer, passed away early this morning.
He was a personal hero of mine. Not just because he was a fantastic ball player, or entertaining announcer, but because he overcame many personal and physical problems in his life. In our house, we listened to more Cubs games on the radio than we watched on TV. This was soley due to the fact that I had a mini obsession with Mr. Santo...I wasn't as much obsessed as I was loyal. I wanted to support whatever he was a part of. Then I became addicted to his viewpoints, commentary, and passion for the Cubs. Santo joined the Cubs as announcer when I was 12, and I have been listening to him ever since. I've said on more than one occasion that I think I may be a bigger Santo fan, than Cub fan. Many announcers aren't attached to their team..it's a job for them, so they have to manicure their comments and emotions. Santo was a fan's announcer. He would say what we all felt. He would celebrate enthusiastically, and he would sulk loudly over a loss. He would moan after an error, cheer with every victory, and it's because the Cubs were his heart...not just his job.
When we moved here, and I would miss elements of home, I knew I could always hear Ron Santo...a staple of Chicago and the Cubs on the radio. Actually, we couldn't get WGN on our radio so we bought a subscription to MLB.COM so that we could hear Ron for every game.
This summer the three of us were outside playing baseball and Parker was Derrek Lee (before he was traded), and I was Big Z. I asked you, Kent, who you wanted to be and you said, "I want to be Ron Santo and talk about the game." Kent, you did just that. You sat on the deck and you gave a color commentary on what Parker and I were doing.
I will miss his insight, his antics, his humor, and his heart. He was optimistic about each season, and he truly believed "This is the year!" every April.