Chicago Cubs fans have ridden the roller coaster of the 2023 season all year long. It can go from feeling great to feeling incredibly down on the team in a matter of 24 hours. Saturday however was a very special day for the Cubs and their fans.
At Wrigley Field, the Cubs erased multiple deficits en route to an 8-6 victory against the rival St. Louis Cardinals. Multiple rain delays could not douse Cody Bellinger, who recorded four RBIs including the game-winning hit in the sixth inning. Dansby Swanson returned from injury and recorded a double and RBI single. Regardless of where the Cubs are in the standings, winning an exciting game against your biggest rivals always feels good.
Meanwhile in Cooperstown, New York the legendary Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes was making his speech during the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. As much as Hughes would have loved calling the Cubs' thrilling victory, Saturday was a highlight of his broadcasting career.
In his speech had a lot of people to thank for his storied career. Obviously, he thanked his family and current broadcast partners Ron Coomer and Zach Zaidman, as well as former colleagues Len Kasper and Mark Grote. He had special words for Cubs Hall of Famers Harry Caray and Ron Santo, his partner from 1996-2010. Other people he mentioned included legendary sports broadcasters Bob Uecker (his former partner in Milwaukee), Bob Costas, Jim Miller, Marty Brennaman, Al Michaels, and the late Vin Scully. He also thanked the Ricketts family, Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenny, and executive producer of Cubs baseball Mitch Rosen among other producers and broadcasters.
It was no surprise that Hughes told special stories about Santo. Most die-hard Cubs fans know the infamous toupée fire story at old Shea Stadium, he retold that story and it is still as funny today as it was 20 years ago. He also recalled his first broadcast with Santo in Cactus League play in 1996, when Hughes and Santo shook hands and Santo said how much fun the two would have together. You can feel the sincerity and joy in Hughes' voice when he tells that story.
To conclude, he had some really great words for the Cubs fans.
""In closing, I have a note to Cubs fans. If I was writing you a letter, it might read, 'What an extraordinary group of people you are.' I want to thank you so much for your unbelievable passion for the ballclub and the support of me. When I got the call from Cooperstown last December, I truly think there were some Cubs fans who were just as happy as I was with the news. You make me feel like I am a part of your family.""- Pat Hughes
It was a long time coming for Hughes, but he is finally part of baseball immortality. His Hall of Fame speech is worth watching for any Cubs fan.