Chicago Cubs should bring back the captain title for Anthony Rizzo
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: Cooperstown is Ronnie’s home now
When you think great ‘Chicago Cubs,’ you think of three to four names.
Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams and – a longtime Cubs’ captain – Ron Santo. The Hall of Fame third baseman spent his all but one year of his career on the North Side of Chicago. His passion and love for the Cubs spanned his entire life – even as the Cubs’ radio color man.
But as a player, he embodied what it meant to be a Cub. The nine-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner loved his team deeply – while leading them in almost every way on the diamond. Most importantly, he was always looking for the bright side of situations.
"I’ve been a Cub all my life. I came up here when I was 20 years old and spent my whole career here in Chicago. I’ve always been an optimist; I believe you have to be in order to survive, to be honest with you – in health, with what I’ve been through. That’s the way I am."
One glaring difference
It’s premature to compare Rizzo to Santo. But there are some clear similarities. Both battled major medical issues in their lives. For Rizzo, cancer. Santo, meanwhile, battled diabetes – the disease that ultimately cost him both of his legs.
They both were undoubtedly the leaders in the clubhouse. Of course, Rizzo has achieved more than Santo in one regard. The Hall of Fame third baseman spent 15 years with the Cubs – but never won a title. In fact, he never saw postseason action at all.
But don’t let that distract from what Santo did on the diamond. He led the league in walks four times, on-base percentage twice and was a remarkably consistent presence in the Cubs’ lineup for more than a decade. He was – and still is to this day – one of the best examples of what a leader is.