Whether you liked Ron Santo as an announcer or not, you still have to acknowledge that no one in the baseball put as much emotion into the games they called than Ron Santo did. Each and every year Ron Santo will be a vital part of our summers, and we would enjoy the good times and the bad times with Santo. In many ways, Ron Santo was like a family member to me, as well as any other Cubs fan that enjoyed his broadcasting. He was beloved by peers, friends, fans, players, and everyone involved with baseball. Here our some of the emotional responses from Baseball writers across the nation, as we remember Ron Santo, the biggest Cubs fan there will ever be.
Here is a statement from the Ricketts Family…
"“My siblings and I first knew Ron Santo as fans, listening to him in the broadcast booth. We knew him for his passion, his loyalty, his great personal courage and his tremendous sense of humor. It was our great honor to get to know him personally in our first year as owners.“Ronnie will forever be in the heart and soul of Cubs fans. Our thoughts and prayers today are with his wife Vicki and their family as we share with fans across the globe in mourning the loss of our team’s No. 1 fan and one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game.“As a nine-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner, Ronnie was one of the best Cubs and a Hall of Famer in our book.“Since he retired, he was a powerful spokesperson for Juvenile Diabetes Research. For the last 21 years, his love for baseball and passion for the Cubs was felt in every one of his broadcasts.“In the days and seasons ahead, we will honor Ron and celebrate all he has meant to our team and our fans. Ron’s No. 10 will always be close to our hearts and Ron will forever be a member of the Cubs family.”"
I applaud the Ricketts coming out and stating that the Cubs will honor the life and memories of Ron Santo. To be honest, the Chicago Cubs should create a statue of Ron Santo. That would give Ron the chance to be at every Cubs game, and fans will have the chance to pay their respects to the icon. Also, the Cubs should incorporate some type of patch on their Uniforms next season, also have a Ron Santo day. During the Ron Santo day, the Cubs should all wear the #10 in respect to Santo, much like Major League Baseball does on Jackie Robinson Day.
Former Cub and teammate of Santo, Billy Williams, had this to say about his friend, who he had known for 50 years…
"“This was really not a teammate,” Williams said. “He’s a friend — it’s like losing a family member. When I lost my brother, it’s the same reaction. We became friends in 1959 and through those years, going back and forth to the ballpark, sitting on the bench, talking about the Cubs. It’s just a sad day for the Cubs fans and baseball.“People who listened to Ronnie and Pat [Hughes on WGN Radio], they’re going to miss that,” he said. “[Santo] kept a lot of people laughing through his radio analysis. He and Pat were there everyday at 1:20 [p.m. when the games started at Wrigley] listening to the game. When you listened to them, you didn’t have to know the score. If he’s in that mode [when he moans], you know we’re losing.” MUSKAT RAMBLINGS"
What Billy Williams said is completely and 100% true. To Cubs fans, Ron Santo was not a broadcaster, he was family to all of us. For 3 hours each day in the summer, Ron would welcome us in, and share with us the love he has for not only the Cubs, but for the fans as well.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago shares with us, what it was like for him growing up watching Ron Santo, and eventually becoming his friend. A few of the things that he mentions about Santo is that he considered everyone he met to be a friend of his, and many people could relate to Santo being “their guy”.
Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald does an excellent job describing who Ron Santo was as a person. One of things that Miles credits Santo with, is being the toughest guy in all of sports. Meaning, despite all the health issues that Santo endured, he still battled his way to victory. Despite his health, Santo was always so caring to any one he would encounter.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports mentions that the instant reaction he had to the news of the passing of Ron Santo, was that Santo deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. The reasons Rosenthal stated are because he was an excellent player, he showed tremendous courage on and off the field, and he loved the game like few others.
As you can see, Ron Santo influenced everyone that was a part of baseball. His affect on me as a Cubs fans, and I’m sure many others will never be forgotten. So as Ron clicks his heals into heaven, let’s all do the same in memory of our fallen friend, and family member.