Today is the darkest day in Cubs history. Ron Santo, the heart and soul of Cubs fans, has passed away.
I feel it would be a great tribute to Ron by expressing his importance to us.
Will: Although I never watched you in your hay day, I admire your fight against diabetes, your charity work and your relentless passion for the Cubs. Next season won't feel the same without you, Ron; I'll turn on WGN and wait to hear you when the Cubs do something great and when they do something not so great. Your outbursts of joy and anguish was what I expressed during Cubs games. This allowed me to not feel like I was going crazy, rather, I was assured that at least one other person in the room was feeling the same emotions. Now you're in the booth with Harry, enjoying old stories and watching the Cubs, while sitting in the best seat in the house.
Brad: Ron's not here today. That hurts. It hurts a lot.
Living away from family, it always felt like I could turn on the radio and share the pain of another Cubs season with my third-base-playing grandfather. I would joke to my wife about his groans and sighs, but in truth he helped my deal with the anguish of this team and oftentimes made our little studio apartment feel a little less lonely.
On the field, Santo was amazing. The only people who didn't realize that seem to be those still under the yolk of archaic statistics and anecdotal analyses. I'm genuinely pissed Ron never got to see his bust in the Hall of Fame. Despite his practically un-treated diabetes, Santo built a career comparable or superior to any other third basemen in the Hall.
Like the commenter DB said at Tim's great Cubby-Blue site:
...I don't even know if I'd want the damn HOF to vote Ron in now. It seems like it would be cheapened. They SHOULD HAVE voted him in years ago while he was here to enjoy it. It's inexcuseable! Bunch of stuck up prigs. I just want to flip them all off for doing that to Ron and never letting him enjoy such a well-deserved accolade while alive.In my opinion: Until Santo is in the Hall, there is no Hall of Fame. And when he does get in, I still cannot forgive the current voters. It's entirely inexcusable.