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Tomorrow is Ron Santo Day

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  • Tomorrow is Ron Santo Day

    Tomorrow is Ronnies big day, unfortunately he won't be there in person but will be watching from the best seat in the house. Sure wish this happened while he was alive, he was my favorite Cub as a kid. We miss you, congrats.

  • #2
    Glad they are paying tribute and hopefully it will persuade the HOF voters to be more fair to other players, so they don't have to miss their HOF induction.
    Chop! Chop! Chop!

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    • #3
      Santo was one of my favorite players when I was growing up in Chicago, even though I was and still am a White Sox fan. I thought about going to C-Town for the induction (I live 40 miles away), but he won't be making an acceptance speech. The Veterans' Committee, in their infinite wisdom, waited until Santo died, then they couldn't get him in fast enough. I hope the people who do attend the ceremony today boo the Vets' Committee loud and long when they announce the induction. I wonder if somebody is accepting the honor on Santo's behalf, and if they will get a chance to speak. That might be interesting, at least.
      They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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      • #4
        I believe his wife is giving the speech.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
          Santo was one of my favorite players when I was growing up in Chicago, even though I was and still am a White Sox fan. I thought about going to C-Town for the induction (I live 40 miles away), but he won't be making an acceptance speech. The Veterans' Committee, in their infinite wisdom, waited until Santo died, then they couldn't get him in fast enough. I hope the people who do attend the ceremony today boo the Vets' Committee loud and long when they announce the induction. I wonder if somebody is accepting the honor on Santo's behalf, and if they will get a chance to speak. That might be interesting, at least.
          They are also taking forever to induct Gil Hodges - he should be going in with Santo this year. Hopefully Hodges' wife gets to see her husband inducted (she's 85).

          Anyway, that's another topic...

          Congrats to Santo!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by redban View Post
            They are also taking forever to induct Gil Hodges - he should be going in with Santo this year. Hopefully Hodges' wife gets to see her husband inducted (she's 85).

            Anyway, that's another topic...

            Congrats to Santo!
            I agree. Hodges, like Santo, should have been in thirty years ago, although it would have already been too late for him.

            Minnie Minoso too, as I saw in another thread, comes up again in 2014. I don't know how his health is, but this reallistically is probably the last chance to get him inducted during his lifetime. I hope they get it right for a change.
            They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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            • #7
              Very nice speech by Vicki Santo
              My blog - http://sandlotwisdom.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                I agree. Hodges, like Santo, should have been in thirty years ago, although it would have already been too late for him.

                Minnie Minoso too, as I saw in another thread, comes up again in 2014. I don't know how his health is, but this reallistically is probably the last chance to get him inducted during his lifetime. I hope they get it right for a change.
                Minnie should outsmart the committee by faking his own death and then showing up in Cooperstown to accept the honor after he's immediately voted in.

                Banks and Minoso are like twins to me...both former Negro Leagues players who were known for their positive outlooks and stayed in Chicago to be public faces for their teams after they retired.
                "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                • #9
                  Vicki Santo's speech:

                  VICKI SANTO: Thank you, Commissioner Selig and thank you
                  to Jane Forbes Clark, Jeff Idelson, Brad Horn and Whitney
                  Selover and everyone here at the Hall of Fame for your warm and
                  welcoming hospitality this year.

                  Another congratulations to Bob Elliott and Tim McCarver and
                  congratulations Barry Larkin. I know Ron would be honored to be
                  in the same Hall of Fame class as you are. Thank you to the
                  Golden Era Committee, to Ron's teammates, Ernie Banks, Fergie
                  Jenkins and especially Billy Williams for doing so much to help
                  make this game happen.

                  Words cannot express my sorrow that Ron Santo didn't live
                  to see this day, that he's not here to give this speech.
                  Believe me when I tell you I'd rather have Ron up here than me,
                  but rest assured that he's laughing at my expense to see me
                  squirm a little bit.

                  But this is not a sad day, not at all. This is a very
                  happy day. It's an incredible day for an incredible man, a man
                  who lived an extraordinary life to its fullest. Indeed, he had
                  a wonderful life. From the humble beginnings of Garlic Gulch to
                  the baseball Hall of Fame. It was a spectacular journey fraught
                  with trials and tribulations and incredible lows and highs. But
                  Ron's life was never about the lows. He always found a way to
                  make it about the highs.

                  Ron Santo was born to play baseball. He said his ability
                  to play baseball was a God given gift, that playing the game was
                  easy, that it was only the diabetes that made the game hard.
                  Looking back, he believed he was given the gift of talent as
                  well as the challenge of diabetes so that through his hardship,
                  he could shed light on a cause that he could help others through
                  his story. And I think he would say that's why he's now been
                  given the greatest honor any athlete could ever hope for from a
                  sport, to be included among the greatest players who have ever
                  set foot on earth.

                  You see, long before science and technology caught up to
                  diabetes, Ron Santo was as much a guinea pig as he was a
                  baseball player. On a given day, he played doctor and patient
                  as well as third base. He tested his sugars by taking batting
                  practice. He checked his glucose levels by fielding grounders.
                  He gauged the amount of insulin he would need after running the
                  bases. And this was before the game even started. His
                  prescription was often a candy bar or a glass of orange juice,
                  never letting on that his sugars were low or telling his
                  teammates about his daily injections.

                  But without the difficulties, what value would have been
                  the gift? What meaning would have been the journey? It never
                  held him back, not before his career, not during and not after.
                  Not even after double amputations, because Ron Santo believed
                  it's not what happens to you in life that people may judge, but
                  how you handle what happens to you in your life.

                  Ron told the story many times about an afternoon at Wrigley
                  Field when he was really struggling. The low sugar came over
                  him very quickly, as it sometimes did, and suddenly he found
                  himself in the on-deck circle. Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert had
                  already reached base, Billy Williams was at the plate and Ron's
                  sugar was really low. It got so bad as Billy took his sweet
                  time up there working the count that Ron was hoping Billy would
                  just strike out so he could end the inning and get back to the
                  dugout for a candy bar, but Billy walked to load the bases. Now
                  Ron really had a problem. His vision was blurry and he was
                  weak. His plan was to hit the first pitch but he didn't count
                  on seeing three balls coming to him so he picked the middle of
                  the three and swung hard. He did it. A grand slam. But as
                  they ran the bases, Billy was jogging, enjoying the moment and
                  Ron quickly caught up to him. Billy said, "Hey don't pass me
                  up, what's your hurry?" Ron said, "You better get moving,
                  Whistler, or I'm running right around you." Billy picked up the
                  pace and they got off the field but it wasn't until years later
                  that Ron explained why he needed to get off the field.

                  He hid his diabetes for a decade. He was afraid they might
                  take baseball away from him. That's a long time to keep a
                  secret. Indeed, he was in so many ways a guinea pig.

                  When Ron retired from playing, he often thought about
                  getting back into baseball. When WGN Radio and the Chicago Cubs
                  called and the broadcast booth beckoned, he jumped and clicked
                  his heels at the thought of working with Thom Brennaman and Bob
                  Brenley and later Pat Hughes. What a team they were.

                  In 2001, Ron lost a leg, amputated because of the
                  complications of diabetes. It had been a terrible fight. 10
                  operations in 10 months. The next year, he had a sore on the
                  other foot and was faced with a decision. After weighing the
                  odds of a full recovery and no recurrence, he decided to go with
                  a second amputation. As the nurse was wheeling him into the
                  operating room, I heard him telling the doctor that the timing
                  was perfect for this operation because he could be back for
                  opening day. That's true. Only Ron. That's what was on his
                  mind, getting ready to broadcast Cubs baseball on opening day.

                  He handled his diabetes with grace, dignity and a sense of
                  humor. As he left for the ball park with the glucometer and
                  insulin, we would joke about getting him an owner's manual in
                  case any of the bionic parts were to break down, someone would
                  be able to help him.

                  So how did he keep broadcasting despite it all? Two men;
                  Dr. Gary Kaufman and Ray McKinney who we affectionately referred
                  to as our leg man, kept him upright and walking. I'm really
                  sure of one thing. When each of them met Ron, they did not know
                  they would be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A very
                  special thank you to Gary and Ray who made the quality of Ron's
                  last few years remarkable and allowed him to get to the
                  broadcast booth to share his passion for the game and his sense
                  of humor with his fans.

                  Not only was Ron's vision of color commentating to tell the
                  listeners how a player thinks about different situations, but he
                  related from the standpoint of being the world's greatest Cub
                  fan. He had no emotional filter. So when you listened, you
                  heard and felt the joy or sadness of a real fan. He loved the
                  game and he loved the broadcast booth. He wasn't going to let
                  anything prevent him from broadcasting the season. That was
                  Ron. He never said why me. He just moved on to the next
                  challenge.

                  The last few years of his life, he had so many things wrong
                  with him and so many different needs that every single thing
                  that we take for granted, taking a shower or making a sandwich,
                  required a lot of different moving parts, but he did not
                  complain and he did not want sympathy. He believed he'd been
                  chosen to go through these things so that he could deliver a
                  message of perseverance, to inspire those with problems of all
                  types and above all, he felt it was his job to try to find a
                  cure for juvenile diabetes.

                  I assure you if Ron wanted something a certain way, it was
                  going to be that way. He would not have stood up here today and
                  bragged about what he has done to try to help others. So the
                  one advantage to him not being here is in this case he can't
                  tell me what to say. So I'm going to brag just a little about
                  him. You'll never know all he did for others, and he did so
                  very much in private. In public, he raised more than
                  $65 million for JDRF. He felt he had been put here for that
                  reason. He felt it was his reason for still being here when the
                  odds were so stacked against him the last decade of his life.
                  He embraced his gift and his hardship equally believing that one
                  would not have mattered without the other. He believed in his
                  journey and he believed in his cause.

                  His journey has led him here to Cooperstown and his cause
                  is finding a cure. He fought the good fight and though he's no
                  longer here, we must find a cure. Ron always believed in a
                  season in which the Cubs could win. He always believed the game
                  was within reach. He also always believed we would find a cure.
                  We can't let him down. Walk for the cure, run for the cure,
                  donate to research for the cure or just pray for a cure, but
                  find a cure. If you want to honor Ron Santo, there's nothing
                  you can do more appropriate than in some way helping to find the
                  cure.

                  I think you all know how intense Ron was, whether it was on
                  the field, in the broadcast booth or in his fight against
                  diabetes, and Ron loved with the same intensity. He loved his
                  friends and he loved his family, especially his children Ron,
                  Jeff, Linda and Kelly and his grandsons Sam and Spencer. The
                  intensity that Ron lived with will live on through our family's
                  efforts to find a cure for the disease that so challenged him
                  for 51 years of his life.

                  And in his legacy, let it be known that here is a man who
                  attained the highest honor his sport can give while playing with
                  an insidious disease. He was an inspiration and he will
                  continue to be an inspiration.

                  Perhaps more than anything, he loved the Cubs. God how he
                  loved the Cubs and the Cubs fans. Really, I want you to know he
                  loved you all so much and he would be so grateful that you came
                  here today to share this with him. Thank you to the Cubs
                  organization for appreciating and honoring Ron for his talents
                  as a player and a broadcaster. Thank you to Cub fans for being
                  his friends, for being his family and for always being there for
                  him. You'll never know how much that meant to him. Thank you
                  all from my heart for being here today for Ron.

                  I look at his plaque here in Cooperstown and I think you
                  will all agree it just feels right as a perfect ending to his
                  remarkable journey. I couldn't help but think of Jimmy Stewart
                  in It's a Wonderful Life when the angel Clarence says, "Each
                  man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he
                  leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" Ron never needed that
                  lesson, but Ron left an awful hole for so many of us here today.

                  I always think of how Clarence inscribed that copy of Tom
                  Sawyer that George Bailey holds at the end of the movie.
                  "Remember, George, no man is a failure who has friends." Well,
                  I don't know of anyone who had more friends than Ron Santo.

                  This is not a sad day. This is a great day. Celebrate for
                  Ron, celebrate with us and celebrate with him because I'm
                  certain of few things, but I am certain that Ronnie is
                  celebrating with us right now. Celebrate his journey, celebrate
                  his cause, celebrate an amazing life. Celebrate Ron Santo's
                  life. He truly had a wonderful life. Thank you and God bless.
                  http://baseballhall.org/sites/defaul...nto_speech.pdf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The whole Cubs team went onto the field and clicked their heels out of respect for Santo.
                    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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