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The Baseball Chronicle

Essays

Ron Santo

Ron

By Todd Cosner

You can't be a baseball fan in Iowa without loving Ron Santo. Whether you can't get inside or it's too nice outside to be inside, you can turn on the radio and listen to Ron and Pat call a game. I wasn't a Cubs fan before I married my wife, Wendy, a long-suffering fan since the late 1980s, but you can't be married to a Cubs fan without it rubbing off on you. So we both spilt loyalty between the Cubbies and the Yankees. On one end there is the thrill of victory, and the other the agony of defeat.

Santo was a household staple for us. We both loved him, and he was a part of our lives almost every day. Even when the games were not, shall we say, exciting to watch, Ron and Pat gave us something enjoyable to listen to. They worked very well together. Santo was a true fan. He was almost hard to understand through his excitement when things were going well, and equally so when things weren't. The man felt genuine anguish when the Cubs failed to make a play.

Many people, myself included, feel that Ron was wrongfully overlooked for the Hall of Fame. He had the numbers as a player. As a broadcaster there should still be room in the Hall for Santo. Few broadcasters have ever lived and died with a team like Santo. People have been saying for years he bleeds Cub blue. The game has lost a great ambassador and a great man. He was great to the fans and always had a smile on his face no matter how bad he was feeling. We are going to miss his voice. I will miss the way he fell to pieces with every miscue or just plain bad play. I will miss the triumphant voice that made it impossible to know exactly what happened until he calmed down to speak plainly.

We will miss you, Ronnie.

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Got a remembrance of Ron Santo? Share it below.

Photograph: Lamba Chi Alpha

—January 21, 2011

About the author

Todd Cosner is a self-proclaimed dabbler who has so many interests that something is always in season for him. Which simply means that he has things to carry him over until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. He is the father of three girls and lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife of eighteen years, Wendy. He is a painter, an avid reader, a Sunday school teacher and a softball coach. He blogs at A Swing and a Miss.