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Archive for the ‘Ron Santo’ Category

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ron Santo, one of the greatest players in Chicago Cubs history and a longtime WGN radio announcer for the perennial losers, has died. He was 70.

“Ronnie will forever be the heart and soul of Cubs fans,” team chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement Friday. He praised Santo for “his passion, his loyalty, high great personal courage and his tremendous sense of humor.”

Santo died in an Arizona hospital from complications of bladder cancer, according to WGN Radio. Santo was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 18 and lost both legs to the disease.

A nine-time All-Star in his 15-year career, Santo was widely regarded as one of the best players never to gain induction into the Hall of Fame. The quiet sadness with which he met the news year after year that he hadn’t been inducted helped cement his relationship with the fans.

Santo played for the Cubs in 1960-73 and finished his career with the White Sox in 1974. He joined the Cubs’ radio team in 1990.

Born Ronald Edward Santo in Seattle on Feb. 25, 1940, Santo was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 18. He kept it from the team until he made his first All-Star Game in 1963, and fans didn’t know about his diabetes for years after that.

Santo was a fan favorite on a team that included Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins. Many taverns near Wrigley Field display photos of Santo, including one in which he famously clicked his heels as he ran off the field.

In his 14 years with the Cubs and his final season with the White Sox, the third baseman hit .277 with 2,254 hits, 342 home runs and 1,331 RBIs. He won the Gold Glove award five times.

He hit .300 or better four times, had the best on-base percentage in the National League in 1964 and 1966, and led the NL in walks four times.

But the team routinely finished at or near the bottom of the standings.

One of the few times the Cubs didn’t was in 1969, when they finished second after leading the New York Mets by nine games as late as Aug. 16. That year, a photograph was taken of Santo that became synonymous with the team’s failure and the supposed curses that have long haunted the team: There, in the on-deck circle at Shea Stadium, is Santo, a bat on his shoulder as a black cat scurries past.

There will be a public visitation for Santo on Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral Parish in Chicago. The funeral will be Friday at the Holy Name Cathedral Church.

Read more: Cubs great Ron Santo dead at 70 | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101204/SPORTS18/12040374/Cubs-great-Ron-Santo-dead-at-70#ixzz178Oq6WN5

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Ron Santo was born on February 25th, 1940 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Santo

February 25th, 1940

25 +1+9+4+0 = 39 = his “secret” number = Charm.  Idealism.  Ideals.  Poetic.  Poetry.  Lyrical.  Lyrics.  Compliments.  Invitations.  Offers.  Proposals.  Dreamer.  Idyllic.  Dreamlike.  Perfect.  Nice.  Commitments.  Promises.  Sincerity.  Genuine.  Authentic.  A nice guy.

 

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